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CABBAGES AND KINGS
Author of " The Four Million," " The Voice of the
City," " The Trimmed Lamp," " StricUy
Bueinese," *' Whirligigs," Etc.
Garden City New Yopk
DOUBLED AY, PAGE & COMPANY
Copyright, 1904» by
i>anbleday« Page & Company
^ The time has come/' the Walrus said,
" To talk of many things;
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax.
And cabbages and kings/'
THE WALRUS AND THE CARFEKTEB
The Proem: By the Carpenter • • • 3
i. " fox-in-the-morning " 11
II. The Lotus and the Bottle • • • 25
III. Smith 44
IV. Caught 62
V. Cupid's Exile Number Two .... 82
VI. The Phonograph and the Graft . . 92
VII. Money Maze 113
VIII. The Admiral ISO
IX. The Flag Paramount 144
X. The Shamrock and the Palm . . .161
XI. The Remnants of the Code . • .189
XII. Shoes 204
XIII. Ships 219
XIV. Masters of Arts 233
XV. Dicky 258
XVI. Rouge et Noir 278
XVII. Two Recalls 293
XVIII. The Vitagraphoscope 307
CABBAGES AND KINGS
BY THE CARPENTEE
1 HEY will tell you in Anchuria, that President
Miraflores, of that volatile republic, died by his own
hand in the coast town of Coralio; that he had
reached thus far in flight from the inconveniences of
an imminent revolution; and that one hundred thou-
sand dollars, government funds, which he carried with
him in an American leather valise as a souvenir of
his tempestuous administration, was never afterward
For a real, a boy will show you his grave. It is
back of the town near a little bridge that spans a
mangrove swamp. A plain slab of wood stands at its
head. Some one has burned upon the headstone with
a hot iron this inscription :
RAMON ANGEL DE LAS CRUZES
PRESIDENTE DE LA REPUBLICA
QUE SEA SU JUEZ DIOS
4 Cabbages and Kings
It is characteristic of this buoyant people that they
pursue no man beyond the grave. " Let God be his
judge ! " — Even with the hundred thousand unfound,
though greatly coveted, the hue and cry went no
further than that.
To the stranger or the guest the people of Coralio
will relate the story of the tragic end of their former
president; how he strove to escape from the country
with the public funds and also with Dofia Isabel
Guilbert, the yoimg American opera singer ; and how,
being apprehended by members of the opposing po-
litical party in Coralio, he shot himself through the
head rather than give up the funds, and, in conse-
quence, the Senorita Guilbert. They will relate
further that Dona Isabel, her adventurous bark of
fortune shoaled by the simultaneous loss of her dis-
tinguished admirer and the souvenir hundred thou-
sand, dropped anchor on this stagnant coast, await-
ing a rising tide.
They say, in Coralio, that she found a prompt and
prosperous tide in the form of Frank Goodwin, an
American resident of the town, an investor who had
grown wealthy by dealing in the products of the coun-
try — a banana king, a rubber prince, a sarsaparilla,
indigo, and mahogany baron. The Senorita Guil-
bert, you will be told, married Senor Goodwin one
The Proem 5
month after the president's death, thus, in the very
moment when Fortune had ceased to smile, wresting
from her a gift greater than the prize withdrawn.
Of the American^ Don Frank Goodwin, and of his
wife the natives have nothing but good to say. Don
Frank has lived among them for years, and has com-
pelled their respect. His lady is easily queen of what
social life the sober coast affords. The wife of the
governor of the district, herself, who was of the proud
Castilian family of Monteleon y Dolorosa de los
Santos y Mendez, feels honoured to unfold her nap-
kin with olive-hued, ringed hands at the table of
Seiiora Goodwin. Were you to refer (with your
northern prejudices) to the vivacious past of Mrs.
Goodwin when her audacious and gleeful abandon
in light opera captured the mature president's fancy,
or to her share in that statesman's downfall and mal-
feasance, the Latin shrug of the shoulder would be
your only answer and rebuttal. What prejudices
there were in Coralio concerning Senora Goodwin
seemed now to be in her favour, whatever they had
been in the past.
It would seem that the story is ended, instead of
begun ; that the close of a tragedy and the climax of
a romance have covered the ground of interest ; but,
to the more curious reader it shall be some slight in-
6 Cabbages and Kings
struction to trace the close threads that underlie the
ingenuous web of circumstances.
The headpiece bearing the name of President
Miraflores is daily scrubbed with soap-bark and sand.
An old half-breed Indian tends the grave with fidelity
and the dawdling minuteness of inherited sloth. He
chops down the weeds and ever-springing grass with
his machete, he plucks ants and scorpions and beetles
from it with his horny fingers, and sprinkles its turf
with water from the plaza fountain. There is no
grave anywhere so well kept and ordered.
Only by following out the underlying threads will
it be made clear why the old Indian, Galvez, is
secretly paid to keep green the grave of President
Miraflores by one who never saw that unfortunate
statesman in life or in death, and why that one was
wont to walk in the twilight, casting from a distance
looks of gentle sadness upon that unhonoured
Elsewhere than at Coralio one learns of the im-
petuous career cf Isabel Guilbert. New Orleans gave
her birth and the mingled French and Spanish Creole
nature that tinctured her life with such turbulence
and warmth. She had little education, but a knowl-
edge of men and motives that seemed to have come by
instinct. Far beyond the common woman was she
The Proem 7
endowed with intrepid rashness, with a love for the
pursuit of adventure to the brink of danger, and with
desire for the pleasures of life. Her spirit was one to
chafe under any curb ; she was Eve after the fall, but
before the bitterness of it was felt. She wore life as a
rose in her bosom.
Of the legion of men who had been at her feet it
was said that but one was so fortunate as to engage
her fancy. To President Miraflores, the brilliant
but unstable ruler of A^churia, she yielded the key to
her resolute heart. How, then, do we find her (as the
Coralians would have told you) the wife of Frank
Goodwin, and happily living a life of dull and dreamy
The underlying threads reach far, stretching across
the sea. Following them out it will be made plain
why " Shorty " O'Day, of the Columbia Detective
Agency, resigned his position. And, for a lighter
pastime, it shall be a duty and a pleasing sport to
wander with Momus beneath the tropic stars where
Melpomene once stalked austere. Now to cause
laughter to echo from those lavish jungles and frown-
ing crags where formerly rang the cries of pirates'
victims ; to lay aside pike and cutlass and attack with
quip and jollity; to draw one saving titter of mirth
from the rusty casque of Romance — this were pleas-
8 Cabbages and Kings
ant to do in the shade of the lemon-trees on that coast
that IS curved like lips set for smiling.
For there are yet tales of the Spanish Main. That
segment of continent washed by the tempestuous
Caribbean, and presenting to the sea a formidable
border of tropical jungle topped by the overweening
Cordilleras, is still begirt by mystery and romance.
In past times buccaneers and revolutionists roused the
echoes of its cliiFs, and the condor wheeled perpetually
above where, in the green groves, they made food for
him with their matchlocks and toledos. Taken and re-
taken by sea rovers, by adverse powers and by sudden
uprising of rebellious factions, the historic 300 miles
of adventurous coast has scarcely known for hundreds*
of years whom rightly to call its master. Pizarro,
Balboa, Sir Francis Drake, and Bolivar did what they
could Id make it a part of Christendom. Sir John
Morgan, Lafitte and other eminent swash-bucklers
bombarded and pounded it in the name of Abaddon.
The game still goes on. The guns of the rovers
are silenced ; but the tintype man, the enlarged photo-
graph brigand, the kodaking tourist and the scouts of
the gentle brigade of fakirs have found it out, and
carry on the work. The hucksters of Germany,
France, and Sicily now bag its small change across
their counters. Gentlemen adventurers throng the
The Proem 9
waiting-rooms of its rulers with proposals for railways
and concessions. The little opera-bouffe nations play
at government and intrigue until some day a big, si-
lent gunboat glides into the offing and warns them not
to break their toys. And with these changes comes
also the small adventurer, with empty pockets to fill,
light of heart, busy-brained — the modem fairy
prince, bearing an alarm clock with which, more
surely than by the sentimental kiss, to awaken the
beautiful tropics from their centuries' sleep. Gener-
ally he wears a shamrock, which he matches pride fully
against the extravagant palms ; and it is he who has
driven Melpomene to the wings, and set Comedy to
dancing before the footlights of the Southern Cross.
So, there is a little tale to tell of many things. Per-
haps to the promiscuous ear of the Walrus it shall
come with most avail ; for in it there are indeed shoes
and ships and sealing-wax and cabbage-palms and
presidents instead of kings.
Add to these a little love and counterplotting, and
scatter everywhere throughout the maze a trail of
tropical dollars — dollars warmed no more by the tor-
rid sun than by the hot palms of the scouts of For-
tune — and, after all, here seems to be Life, itself,
with talk enough to weary the most garrulous of
" FOX-IN-THE-MORNING "
C/ORALIO reclined, in the mid-day heat, like some
vacuous beauty lounging in a guarded harem. The
town lay at the sea's edge on a strip of alluvial coast.
It was set like a little pearl in an emerald band. Be-
hind it, and seeming almost to topple, imminent,
above it, rose the sea-following range of the Cordil-
leras. In front the sea was spread, a smiling jailer,
but even more incorruptible than the frowning moun-
tains. The waves swished along the smooth beach;
the parrots screamed in the orange and ceiba-trees;
the palms waved their limber fronds foolishly like
an awkward chorus at the prima donna's cue to enter.
Suddenly the town was full of excitement. A
native boy dashed down a grass-grown street, shriek-
ing : " Bibsca el Senor Goodwin. Ha venido un
teligrafo por ell "
The word passed quickly. Telegrams do not often
come to anyone in Coralio. The cry for Senor Good-
win was taken up by a dozen officious voices. The
12 Cabbages and Kings
main street nmning parallel to the beach became pop-
ulated witli those who desired to expedite the delivery
of the despatch. Knots of women with complexions
varying from palest olive to deepest brown gath-
ered at street comers and plaintively carolled : ** Un
teUgrafo por Sefior Goodwin ! " The comandante,
Don Senor el Coronel Encamaci6n Rios, who was
loyal to the Ins and suspected Goodwin's devotion to
the Outs, hissed : " Aha ! " and wrote in his secret
memorandum book the accusive fact that Sefior Good-
win had on that momentous date received a telegram.
In the midst of the hullabaloo a man stepped to
the door of a small wooden building and looked out.
Above the door was a sign that read " Keogh and
Clancy " — a nomenclature that seemed not to be in-
digenous to that tropical soil. The man in the door
was Billy Keogh, scout of fortime and progress and
latter-day rover of the Spanish Main. Tintypes and
protographs were the weapons with which Keogh
and Clancy were at that time assailing the hopeless
shores. Outside the shop were set two large frames
filled with specimens of their art and skill.
Keogh leaned in the doorway, his bold and humor-
ous countenance wearing a look of interest at the
unusual influx of life and sound into the street. When
the meaning of the disturbance became clear to him
'' FoX'in'the-Sforning '' 18
he placed a hand beside his mouth and shouted:
" Hey ! Frank ! " in such a robustious voice that the
feeble clamour of the natives was drowned and silenced.
Fifty yards away, on the seaward side of the street,
stood the abode of the consul for the United States.
Out from the door of this building tumbled Goodwin
at the call. He had been smoking with Willard Ged-
die, the consul, on the back porch of the consulate,
which was conceded to be the coolest spot in Coralio.
" Hurry up," shouted Keogh. " There's a riot in
town on account of a telegram that's come for you.
You want to be careful about these things, my boy.
It won't do to trifle with the feelings of the public
this way. You'll be getting a pink note some day
with violet scent on it; and then the country'll be
steeped in the throes of a revolution."
Goodwin had strolled up the street and met the boy
with the message. The ox-eyed women gazed at him
with shy admiration, for his type drew them. He
was big, blonde, and jauntily dressed in white linen,
with buckskin zapatos. His manner was courtly,
with a sort of kindly truculence in it, tempered by a
merciful eye. When the telegram had been delivered,
and the bearer of it dismissed with a gratuity, the re-
lieved populace returned to the contiguities of shade
from which curiosity had drawn it — the women to
14 Cabbages and Kings
their baking in the mud ovens under the orange-trees,
or to the interminable combing of their long, straight
hair; the men to their cigarettes and gossip in the
Goodwin sat on Keogh's doorstep, and read his tele-
gram. It was from Bob Englehart, an American, who
lived in San Mateo, the capital city of Anchuria,
eighty miles in the interior. Englehart was a gold
miner, an ardent revolutionist and " good people."
That he was a man of resource and imagination was
proven by the telegram he had sent. It had been his
task to send a confidential message to his friend in
Coralio. This could not have been accomplished in
either Spanish c :• English, for the eye politic in An-
churia was an active one. The Ins and the Outs were
perpetually on their guard. But Englehart was a
diplomatist. There existed but one code upon which
he might make requisition with promise of safety —
the great and potent code of Slang. So, here is the
message that slipped, unconstrued, through the fingers
of curious officials, and came to the eye of Goodwin:
" His Nib J skedaddled yesterday per jack-rabbit
line with all the coin in the kitty and the bundle of
muslin he's spoony about. The boodle is six figures
Aort. Our crowd in good shape, but we need the
" Fox-in'the-Moming ^^ 15
spondulicks. You collar it. The main guy and the
dry goods are headed for the briny. You know what
to do. BOB.''
This screed, remarkable as it was, had no m^^stery
for Goodwin. He was the most successful of the
small advance-guard of speculative Americans that
had invaded Anchuria, and he had not reached that
enviable pinnacle without having well exercised the
arts of foresight and deduction. He had taken up
political intrigue as a matter of business. He was
acute enough to wield a certain influence among the
leading schemers, and he was prosperous enough to
be able to purchase the respect of the petty office-
holders. There was always a revolutionary party;
and to it he had always allied himself; for the ad-
herents of a new administration received the rewards
of their labours. There was now a Liberal party
seeking to overturn President Miraflores. If the
wheel successfully revolved, Goodwin stood to win a
concession to 30,000 manzanas of the finest cofl^ee
lands in the interior. Certain incidents in the recent
career of President Miraflores had excited a shrewd
suspicion in Goodwin's mind that the government was
near a dissolution from another cause than that of a
16 Cabbages and Kings
revolution, and now Englehart's telegram had come as
a corroboration of his wisdom.
The telegram, which had remained unintelligible to
the Anchurian linguists who had applied to it in vain
their knowledge of Spanish and elemental English,
conveyed a stimulating piece of news to Goodwin's
understanding. It informed him that the president
of the republic had decamped from the capital city
with the contents of the treasury. Furthermore, that
he was accompanied in his flight by that winning ad-
venturess Isabel Guilbert, the opera singer, whose
troupe of performers had been entertained by the
president at San Mateo during the past month on a
scale less modest than that with which royal visitors
are often content. The reference to the " jack-rab-
bit line '* could mean nothing else than the mule-back
system cf transport that prevailed between Coralio
and the capital. The hint that the " boodle " was
** six figures short " made the condition of the national
treasury lamentably clear. Also it was convincingly
true that the ingoing party — its way now made a
pacific one — would need the ** spondulicks." Unless
its pledges should be fulfilled, and the spoils held for
,:he delectation of the victors, precarious indeed, would
^je the position of the new government. Therefore it
^^ Fox-in-ihe-Moming ^' 17
was exceeding necessary to " collar the main guy,**
and recapture the sinews of war and government.
Groodwin handed the message to Keogh.
"Read that, Billy," he said. "It's from Bob
Englehart. Can you manage the cipher? "
Keogh sat in the other half of the doorway, and
carefully perused the telegram.
" 'Tis not a cipher," he said, finally. " 'Tis what
they call literature, and that's a system of language
put in the mouths of people that they've never been
introduced to by writers of imagination. The maga-
zines invented it, but I never knew before that Presi-
dent Norvin Green had stamped it with the seal of
his approval. 'Tis now no longer literature, but lan-
guage. The dictionaries tried, but they couldn't
make it go for anything but dialect. Sure, now that
the Western Union indorses it, it won't be long till
a race of people will spring up that speaks it."
" You^re running too much to philology, Billy,"
said Goodwin. " Do you make out the meaning of
" Sure," replied the philosopher of Fortune. " All
languages come easy to the man who must know 'em.
I've even failed to misunderstand an order to evacuate
in classical Chinese when it was backed up by the
muzzle of a breech-loader. This little literary essay I
18 Cabbages and Kings
hold in my hands means a game of Fox-in-the-Mom-
ing. Ever play that, Frank, when you was a kid? "
" I think so," said Goodwin, laughing. *' You join
hands all 'round, and — ^"
" You do not," interrupted Keogh. " You've got
a fine sporting game mixed up in your head with * All
Around the Rosebush.' The spirit of * Fox-in-the-
Moming ' is opposed to the holding of hands. FU
tell you how it's played. This president man and
his companion in play, they stand up over in San
Mateo, ready for the run, and shout: 'Fox-in-the-
Morning ! ' Me and you, standing here, we say :
* Goose and the Gander ! ' They say : * How many
miles is it to London town ? ' We say : * Only a few,
if your legs are long enough. How many comes out? '
They say : ' More than you're able to catch.' And
then the game commences."
" T catch the idea," said Groodwin. ** It won't do
to let the goose and gander slip through our fingers,
Billy ; their feathers are too valuable. Our crowd is
prepared and able to step into the shoes of the govern-
ment at once ; but with the treasury empty we'd stay
in power about as long as a tenderfoot would stick on
an untamed bronco. We must play the fox on every
foot of the coast to prevent their getting out of the
'' FoiV'in'the-Morning ^^ 19
" By the mule-back schedule," said Keogh, " it's
five days down from San Mateo. We've got plenty
of time to set our outposts. There's only three
places on the coast where they can hope to sail from —
here and Solitas and Alazan. They're the only points
we'll have to guard. It's as easy as a chess problem
— fox to play, and mate in three moves. Oh, goosey,
goosey, gander, whither * do you wander ? By the
blessing of the literary telegraph the boodle of this
benighted fatherland shall be preserved to the honest
political party that is seeking to overthrow it."
The situation had been justly outlined by Keogh.
The down trail from the capital was at all times a
weary road to travel. A jiggety-joggety journey it
was ; ice-cold and hot, wet and dry. The trail climbed
appalling mountains, wound like a rotten string about
the brows of breathless precipices, plunged through
chilling snow-fed streams, and wriggled like a snake
through sunless forests teeming with menacing in-
sect and animal life. After descending to the foot-
hills it turned to a trident, the central prong ending
at Alazan. Another branched off to Coralio; the
third penetrated to Solitas. Between the sea and
the foothills stretched the five miles breadth of allu-
vial coast. Here was the flora of the tropics in its
rankest and most prodigal growth. Spaces here and
20 Cabbages and Kings
there had been wrested from the jungle and planted
with bananas and cane and orange groves. The rest
was a riot of wild vegetation, the home of monkeys,
tapirs, jaguars, alligators and prodigious reptiles and
insects. Where no road was cut a serpent could
scarcely make its way through the tangle of vines
and creepers. Across the treacherous mangrove
swamps few things without wings could safely pass.
Therefore the fugitives could hope to reach the coast
only by one of the routes named.
**Keep the matter quiet, Billy," advised Goodwin.
" We don't want the Ins to know that the president is
in flight. I suppose Bob's information is something
of a scoop in the capital as yet. Otherwise he would
not have tried to make his message a confidential one ;
and, besides, everybody would have heard the news.
I'm going around now to see Dr. Zavalla, and start a
man up the trail to cut the telegraph wire."
As Goodwin rose, Keogh threw his hat upon the
grass by the door and expelled a tremendous sigh.
"What's the trouble, Billy?" asked Goodwin,
pausing. " That's the first time I ever heard you
" 'Tis the last," said Keogh. " With that sorrow-
ful puff of wind I resign myself to a life of praise-
worthy but harassing honesty. What are tintypes.
'' FoxAn'tlfie-Mormng '' 21
if you please, to the opportunities of the great and
hilarious class of ganders and geese? Not that I
would be a president, Frank — and the boodle he's
got IS too big for me to handle — but in some ways
I feel my conscience hurting me for addicting myself
to photographing a nation instead of running away
with it. Frank, did you ever see the * bundle of mus-
lin ' that His Excellency has wrapped up and carried
" Isabel Guilbert? " said Goodwin, laughing. " No,
I never did. From what I've heard of her, though,
I imagine that she wouldn't stick at anything to carry
her point. Don't get romantic, Billy. Sometimes
I begin to fear that there's Irish blood in your ances-
" I never saw her either," went on Keogh ; " but
they say she's got all the ladies of mythology, sculp-
ture, and fiction reduced to chromos. They say she
can look at a man once, and he'll turn monkey and
climb trees to pick cocoanuts for her. Think of that
president man with Lord knows how many hundreds
of thousands of dollars In one hand, and this muslin
siren In the other, galloping down hill on a sym-
pathetic mule amid songbirds and flowers! And here
is Billy Keogh, because he is virtuous, condemned to
the unprofitable swindle of slandering the faces of
22 Cabbages and Kings
missing links on tin for an honest living ! 'Tis an in-
justice of nature."
" Cheer up," said Goodwin. " You are a pretty
poor fox to be envying a gander. Maybe the en-
chanting Guilbert will take a fancy to you and your
tintypes after we impoverish her royal escort."
" She could do worse," reflected Keogh ; " but she
won't. 'Tis not a tintype gallery, but the gallery of .
the gods that she's fitted to adorn. She's a very
wicked lady, and the president man is in luck. But
I hear Clancy swearing in the back room for having
to do all the work." And Keogh plunged for the
rear of the " gallery," whistling gaily in a spon-
taneous way that belied his recent sigh over the ques-
tionable good luck of the flying president.
Goodwin turned from the main street into a much
narrower one that intersected it at a right angle.
These side streets were covered by a growth of
thick, rank grass, which was kept to a navigable
shortness by the machetes of the police. Stone side-
walks, little more than a ledge in width, ran along
the base of the mean and monotonous adobe houses.
At the outskirts of the village these streets dwindled
to nothing; and here were set the palm-thatched huts
of the Caribs and the poorer natives, and the shabby
cabins of negroes from Jamaica and the West Indifid
'' Fox-in'the-Morning " 28
Islands. A few structures raised their heads above
the red-tiled roofs of the one-story houses — the bell
tower of the Calaboza, the Hotel de los Estranjeros,
the residence of the Vesuvius Fruit Company's
agent, the store and residence of Bernard Brannigan,
a ruined cathedral in which Columbus had once set
foot, and, most imposing of all, the Casa Morena —
the summer " White House " of the President of An-
churia. On the principal street running along the
beach — the Broadway of Coralio — were the larger
stores, the government bodega and post-office, the
cuartelf the rum-shops and the market place.
On his way Goodwin passed the house of Bernard
Brannigan. It was a modem wooden building, two
stories in height. The ground floor was occupied by
Brannigan's store, the upper one contained the living
apartments. A wide cool porch ran around the
house half way up its outer walls. A handsome, viva-
cious girl neatly dressed in flowing white leaned over
the railing and smiled down upon Goodwin. She was
no darker than many an Andalusian of high descent ;
and she sparkled and glowed like a tropical moon-
" Good evening. Miss Paula," said Goodwin, taking
off his hat, with his ready smile. There was little dif-
ference in his manner whether he addressed women or
24 Cabbages and Kings
men. Everybody in Coralio liked to receive the salu-
tation of the big American.
" Is there any news, Mr. Goodwin ? Please donH
say no. Isn't it warm? I feel just like Mariana in
her moated grange — or was it a range ? — it's hot
" No, there's no news to tell, I believe," said Good-
win, with a mischievous look in his eye, " except that
old Geddie is getting grumpier and crosser every day.
If something doesn't happen to relieve his mind I'll
have to quit smoking on his back porch — and there's
no other place available that is cool enough."
" He isn't grumpy," said Paula Brannigan, im-
pulsively, " when he — ^"
But she ceased suddenly, and drew back with a
deepening colour ; for her mother had been a mestizo
lady, and the Spanish blood had brought to Paula a
certain shyness that was an adornment to the other
half of her demonstrative nature.
THE LOTUS AND THE BOTTLE
WiLLARD GEDDIE, consul for the United States
in Coralio, was working leisurely on his yearly report.
Goodwin, who had strolled in as he did daily for a
smoke on the much coveted porch, had found him so
absorbed in his work that he departed after roundly
abusing the consul for his lack of hospitality.
" I shall complain to the civil service department,"
said Goodwin ; — " or is it a department ? — perhaps
it's only a theory. One gets neither civility nor serv-
ice from you. You won't talk ; and you won't set out
anything to drink. What kind of a way is that of
representing your government ? "
Goodwin strolled out and across to the hotel to see
if he could bully the quarantine doctor into a game on
Coralio's solitary billiard table. His plans were com-
pleted for the interception of the fugitives from the
capital; and now it was but a waiting game that he
had to play.
The consul was interested in his report. He was
26 Cabbages and Kings
only twenty-four ; and he had not been in Coralio long
enough for his enthusiasm to cool in the heat of the
tropics — a paradox that may be allowed between
Cancer and Capricorn.
So many thousand bunches of bananas, so many
thousand oranges and cocoanuts, so many ounces of
gold dust, pounds of rubber, coffee, indigo and sarsa-
parilla — actually, exports were twenty per cent,
greater than for the previous year!
A little thrill of satisfaction ran through the consul.
Perhaps, he thought, the State Department, upon
reading his introduction, would notice — and then he
leaned back in his chair and laughed. He was get-
ting as bad as the others. For the moment he had
forgotten that Coralio was an insignificant town in an
insignificant republic lying along the by-ways of ?
second-rate sea. He thought of Gregg, the quaran-
tine doctor, who subscribed for the London Lancet^
expecting to find it quoting his reports to the home
Board of Health concerning the yellow fever germ.
The consul knew that not one in fifty of his acquaint-
ances in the States had ever heard of Coralio. He
knew that two men, at any rate, would have to read
his report — some underling in the State Department
and a compositor in the Public Printing Office. Per-
haps the typesticker would note the increase of com-
The Lotus and the Bottle 27
merce In Coralio, and speak of it, over the cheese and
beer, to a friend.
He had just written: "Most unaccountable is
the supineness of the large exporters in the United
States in permitting the French and German houses to
practically control the trade interests of this rich and
productive country " — when he heard the hoarse
notes of a steamer's siren.
Geddie laid down his pen and gathered his Pan-
ama hat and umbrella. By the sound he knew it to
be the Valhalla^ one of the line of fruit vessels plying
for the Vesuvius Company. Down to ninos of five
years, everyone in Coralio could name you each in-
coming steamer by the note of her siren.
The consul sauntered by a roundabout, shaded
way to the beach. By reason of long practice he
gauged his stroll so accurately that by the time he
arrived on the sandy shore the boat of the customs
officials was rowing back from the steamer, which had
been boarded and inspected according to the laws of
There is no harbour at Coralio. Vessels of the
draught of the Valhalla must ride at anchor a mile
from shore. When they take on fruit it is conveyed
on lighters and freighter sloops. At Solitas, where
there was a fine harbour, ships of many kinds were to
28 Cabbages and Kings
be seen, but in the roadstead off Coralio scarcely any
save the fruiters paused. Now and then a tramp
coaster, or a mysterious brig from Spain, or a saucy
French barque would hang innocently for a few days
in the offing. Then the custom-house crew would be-
come doubly vigilant and wary. At night a sloop or
two would be making strange trips in and out along
the shore; and in the morning the stock of Three-
Star Hennessey, wines and dry goods in Coralio would
be found vastly increased. It has also been said that
the customs officials jingled more silver in the pockets
of their red-striped trousers, and that the record
books showed no increase in import duties received.
The customs boat and the Valhalla gig reached the
shore at the same time. When they grounded in the
shallow water there was still five yards of rolling surf
between them and dry sand. Then half-clothed Car-
ibs dashed into the water, and brought in on their
backs the ValhalWs purser and the Uttle native offi-
cials in their cotton undershirts, blue trousers with
red stripes, and flapping straw hats.
At college Geddie had been a treasure as a first-
baseman. He now closed his umbrella, stuck it up-
right in the sand, and stooped, with his hands resting
upon his knees. The purser, burlesquing the pitcher's
Contortions, hurled ^X the consul the heavy roll of
The Lotus and the Bottle 29
newspapers, tied with a string, that the steamer al-
ways brought for him. Geddie leaped high and
caught the roll with a sounding " thwack.*' The
loungers on the beach — about a third of the popula-
tion of the town — laughed and applauded delight-
edly. Every week they expected to see that roll of
papers delivered and received in that same manner,
and they were never disappointed. Innovations did
not flourish in Coralio.
The consul re-hoisted his umbrella and walked back
to the consulate.
This home of a great nation's representative was a
wooden structure of two rooms, with a native-built
gallery of poles, bamboo and nipa palm running on
three sides of it. One room was the official apart-
ment, furnished chastely with a flat-top desk, a ham-
mock, and three uncomfortable cane-seated chairs.
Engravings of the first and latest president of the
country represented hung against the wall. The
other room was the consul's living apartment.
It was eleven o'clock when he returned from the
beach, and therefore breakfast time. Chanca, the
Carib woman who cooked for him, was just serving
the meal on the side of the gallery facing the sea —
a spot famous as the coolest in Coralio. The break-
fast consisted of shark's fin soup, stew of land crabs,
80 Cabbages and Kings
breadfruit, a boiled iguana steak, aguacates, a
freshly cut pineapple, claret and coflfee.
Geddie took his seat, and unrolled with luxurious
laziness his bundle of newspapers. Here in Coralio
for two days or longer he would read of goings-on In
the world very much as we of the world read those
whimsical contributions to inexact science that as-
sume to portray the doings of the Martians. After
he had finished with the papers they would be sent
on the rounds of the other English-speaking residents
of the town.
The paper that came first to his hand was one of
those bulky mattresses of printed stuff upon which the
readers of certain New York journals are supposed to
take their Sabbath literary nap. Opening this the
consul rested it upon the table, supporting its weight
with the aid of the back of a chair. Then he partook
of his meal deliberately, turning the leaves from time
to time and glancing half idly at the contents.
Presently he was struck by something familiar to
him in a picture — a half-page, badly printed repro-
duction of a photograph of a vessel. Languidly in-
terested, he leaned for a nearer scrutiny and a view of
the florid headlines of the column next to the picture.
Yes ; he was not mistaken. The engraving was of
the eight-hundred-ton yacht Idalia, belonging to
The Lotus and the Bottle 81
"that prince of good fellows, Midas of the money
market, and society's pink of perfection, J. Ward
Slowly sipping his black coffee, Geddie read the
column of print. Following a listed statement of Mr.
Tolliver's real estate and bonds, came a description of
the yacht's furnishings, and then the grain of news no
bigger than a mustard seed. Mr. Tolliver, with a
party of favoured guests, would sail the next day on a
six weeks' cruise along the Central American and
South American coasts and among the Bahama Is-
lands. Among the guests were Mrs. Cumberland
Payne and Miss Ida Payne, of Norfolk.
The writer, with the fatuous presumption that was
demanded of him by his readers, had concocted a ro-
mance suited to their palates. He bracketed the
names of Miss Payne and Mr. Tolliver until he had
well-nigh read the marriage ceremony over them. He
played coyly and insinuatingly upon the strings of
" on dit " and " Madame Rumour " and " a little
bird " and " no one would be surprised," and ended
Geddie, having finished his breakfast, took his pa-
pers to the edge of the gallery, and sat there in his
favourite steamer chair with his feet on the bamboo
railing. He lighted a cigar, and looked out upon the
82 Cabbages and Kings
sea. He felt a glow of satisfaction at finding he was
so little disturbed by what he had read. He told him-
self that he had conquered the distress that had sent
him, a voluntary exile, to this far land of the lotus.
He could never forget Ida, of course ; but there was no
longer any pain in thinking about her. When they
had had that misunderstanding and quarrel he had im-
pulsively sought this consulship, with the desire to re-
taliate upon her by detaching himself from her world
and presence. He had succeeded thoroughly in that.
During the twelve months of his hfe in Coralio no word
had passed between them, though he had sometimes
heard of her through the dilatory correspondence with
the few friends to whom he still wrote. Still he could
not repress a little thrill of satisfaction at knowing
that she had not yet married ToUiver or anyone else.
But evidently Tolliver had not yet abandoned hope.
Well, it made no difference to him now. He had
eaten of the lotus. He was happy and content in this
land of perpetual afternoon. Those old days of Kfe
in the States seemed like an irritating dream. He
hoped Ida would be as happy as he was. The climate
as balmy as that of distant Avalon; the fetterless,
idyllic round of enchanted days; the life among this
indolent, romantic people — a life full of music, flow-
ers, and low laughter; the influence of the imminent
The Lotus and the Bottle 33
sea and mountains, and the many shapes of love and
magic and beauty that bloomed in the white tropic
nights — with all he was more than content* Also,
there was Paula Brannigan.
Geddie intended to marry Paula — if, of cour<je,
she would consent; but he felt rather sure that she
would do that. Somehow, he kept postponing his
proposal. Several times he had been quite nf.ar to it;
but a mysterious something always held him back.
Perhaps it was only the unconscious, instinctive con-
viction that the act would sever the la^t tie tliat bound
him to his old world.
He could be very happy with Paula. Few of the
native girls could be compared with her. She had at-
tended a convent school in New Orleans for two vears ;
and when she chose to display her accompHshments
no one could detect any difference between her and the
girls of Norfolk and Manhattan. But it was delicious
to see her at home dressed, as she sometimes was, in the
native costume, with bare shoulders and flowing
Bernard Brannigan was the great merchant of Co-
ralio. Besides his store, he maintained a train of
pack mules, and carried on a lively trade with the
interior towns and villages. He had married a native
lady of high Castilian descent, but with a tinge of
84 Cabbages and Kings
Indian brown showing through her olive cheek. The
union of the Irish and the Spanish had produced, as
it so often has, an offshoot of rare beauty and variety.
They were very excellent people indeed, and the up-
per story of their house was ready to be placed at the
service of Geddie and Paula as soon as he should make
up his mind to speak about it.
By the time two hours were whiled away the consul
tired of reading. The papers lay scattered about
him on the gallery. Reclining there, he gazed dream-
ily out upon an Eden. A clump of banana plants
interposed their broad shields between him and the
sun. The gentle slope from the consulate to the sea
was covered with the dark-green foliage of lemon-trees
and orange-trees just bursting into bloom. A lagoon
pierced the land like a dark, jagged crystal, and above
it a pale ceiba-tree rose almost to the clouds. The
waving cocoanut palms on the beach flared their dec-
orative green leaves against the slate of an almost qui-
escent sea. His senses were cognizant of brilliant
scarlet and ochres amid the vert of the coppice, of
odours of fruit and bloom and the smoke from Chan-
ca's clay oven under the calabash-tree; of the treble
laughter of the native women in their huts, the song
of the robin, the salt taste of the breeze, the diminu-
endo of the faint surf running along Iht nhore — ati^-
The Lotus and the Bottle 35
gradually, of a white speck, growing to a blur,
that Intruded Itself upon the drab prospect of the
Lazily Interested, he watched this blur increase un-
til it became the Idalia steaming at full speed, com-
ing down the coast. Without changing his position
he kept his eyes upon the beautiful white yacht as she
drew swiftly near, and came opposite to Coralio.
Then, sitting upright, he saw her float steadily past
and on. Scarcely a mile of sea had separated her
from the shore. He had seen the frequent flash of her
polished brass work and the stripes of her deck-awn-
ings — so much, and no more. Like a ship on a magic
lantern slide the Idalia had crossed the illuminated
circle of the consul's little world, and was gone. Save
for the tiny cloud of smoke that was left hanging over
the brim of the sea, she might have been an immaterial
thing, a chimera of his idle brain.
Geddie went Into his office and sat down to dawdle
over his report. If the reading of the article in the
paper had left him unshaken, this silent passing of
the Idalia had done for him still more. It had
brought the calm and peace of a situation from which
all uncertainty had been erased. He knew that men
sometimes hope without being aware of it. Now,
since she had come two thousand miles and had passed
86 Cabbages and Kings
without a sign, not even his unconscious self need
cling to the past any longer.
After dinner, when the sun was low behind the moun-
tains, Geddie walked on the little strip of beach under
the cocoanuts. The wind was blowing mildly land-
ward, and the surface of the sea was rippled by tiny
A miniature breaker, spreading with a soft
" swish " upon the sand brought with it something
round and shiny that rolled back again as the wave
receded. The next influx beached it clear, and Ged-
die picked it up. The thing was^ a long-necked wine
bottle of colourless glass. The cork had been driven
in tightly to the level of. the mouth, and the end cov-
ered with dark-red sealing-wax. The bottle contained
only what seemed to be a sheet of paper, much curled
from the manipulation it had undergone while being
inserted. In the sealing-wax was the impression of a
seal — probably of a signet-ring, bearing the initials
of a monogram; but the impression had been hastily
made, and the letters were past anything more certain
than a shrewd conjecture. Ida Payne had always
worn a signet-ring in preference to any other finger
decoration. Geddie thought he could make out the
familiar "IP"; and a queer sensation of disquietude
went over him. More personal and intimate was this
The Lotus and the Bottle 87
reminder of her than had been the sight of the vessel
she was doubtless on. He walked back to his house,
and set the bottle on his desk.
Throwing off his hat and coat, and lighting a lamp
— for the night had crowded precipitately upon the
brief twilight — he began to examine his piece of sea
By holding the bottle near the light and turning it
judiciously, he made out that it contained a double
sheet of note-paper filled with close writing; further,
that the paper was of the same size and shade as that
always used by Ida ; and that, to the best of his belief,
the handwriting was hers. The imperfect glass of
the bottle so distorted the rays of light that he could
read no word of the writing; but certain capital let-
ters, of which he caught comprehensive glimpses, were
Ida's, he felt sure.
There was a little smile both of perplexity and
amusement in Geddie's eyes as he set the bottle down,
and laid three cigars side by side on his desk. He
fetched his steamer chair from the gallery, and
stretched himself comfortably. He would smoke
those three cigars while considering the problem.
For it amounted to a problem. He almost wished
that he had not found the bottle ; but the bottle was
there. Why should it have drifted in from the sea,
88 Cabbages and Kings
whence come so many disquieting things, to disturb
In this dreamy land, where time seemed so redun-
dant, he had fallen into the habit of bestowing much
thought upon even trifling matters.
He began to speculate upon many fancifiil theories
concerning the story of the bottle, rejecting each in
Ships in danger of wreck or disablement sometimes
cast forth such precarious messengers calling for aid.
But he had seen the Idalia not three hours before, safe
and speeding. Suppose the crew had mutinied and
imprisoned the passengers below, and the message was
one begging for succour! But, premising such an
improbable outrage, would the agitated captives have
taken the pains to fill four pages of note-paper with
carefully penned arguments to their rescue.
Thus by elimination he soon rid the matter of the
more unlikely theories, and was reduced — though
aversely — to the less assailable one that the bottle
contained a message to himself. Ida knew he was in
Coralio; she must have launched the bottle while the
yacht was passing and the wind blowing fairly toward
As soon as Geddie reached this conclusion a wrinkle
came between his brows and a stubborn look settled
The Lotus and the Bottle 39
around his mouth. He sat lrxj)ilng out thro-jgh ilte
doorway at the gigantic fire-fl;e§ travertlr.g *h*: quiet
If this was a message to him from Ida, wr^t could
it mean save an overture toward a r^.-corj '-Illation?
And if that, why had she not xVif-A t:.e ^arn^r u,f-^\ifxU
of the post instead of this uncertain ar.d ev^n flippant
means of communication? A note In an ^rfipty t-K/t-
tie, cast into the sea! There wa^ -orr.'^h.'r.g ligKf, and
frivolous about it, if not actually cont^f-Tr.p*'jotj«»,
The thought stirred his pride and %ijhd j<d wFiaf-
ever emotions had been rei»urrected by the finding of
Geddie put on his coat and hat and walked out.
He followed a street that led him alor.g the \}(}r(\(r of
the little plaza where a band was playing and people
were rambling, care-free and indolent. Some timor-
ous senoritas scurrying past with fire-fli^s tangled in
the jetty braids of their hair glanced at lilm with shy,
flattering eyes. The air was languorous with the
scent of jasmin and orange-blossoms.
The consul stayed -his steps at the house of Bernard
Brannigan. Paula was swinging in a hammock on
the gallery. She rose from it hke a bird from its nest.
The colour came to her cheek at the sound of Geddle's
40 Cabbages and Kings
He was charmed at the sight of her costume — a
flounced muslin dress, with a little jacket of white
flannel, all made with neatness and style. He sug-
gested a stroll, and they walked out to the old Indian
well on the hill road. They sat on the curb, and
there Geddie made the expected but long-deferred
speech. Certain though he had been that she would
not say him nay, he was thrilled with joy at the com-
pleteness and sweetness of her surrender. Here was
surely a heart made for love and steadfastness. Here
was no caprice or questionings or captious standards
When Geddie kissed Paula at her door that night
he was happier than he had ever been before. " Here
in this hollow lotus land, ever to live and lie reclined "
seemed to him, as it has seemed to many mariners, the
best as well as the easiest. His future would be an
ideal one. He had attained a Paradise without a ser-
pent. His Eve would be indeed a part of him, unbe-
guiled, and therefore more beguiling. He had made
his decision to-night, and his heart was full of serene,
Geddie went back to his house whistling that finest
and saddest love song, " La Golondrina." At the
door his tame monkey leaped down from his shelf,
The LtOtus and the Bottle 41
chattering briskly. The consul turned to his desk to
get him some nuts he usually kept there. Reaching
in the half-darkness, his hand struck against the bot-
tle. He started as if he had touched the cold ro-
tundity of a serpent.
He had forgotten that the bottle was there.
He lighted the lamp and fed the monkey. Then,
Very deliberately, he lighted a cigar, and took the
bottle in his hand, and walked down the path to the
There was a moon, and the sea was glorious. The
breeze had shifted, as it did each evening, and was
now rushing steadily seaward.
Stepping to the water's edge, Geddie hurled the un-
opened bottle far out into the sea. It disappeared
for a moment, and then shot upward twice its length.
Geddie stood still, watching it. The moonlight was
so bright that he could see it bobbing up and down
with the little waves. Slowly it receded from the
shore, flashing and turning as it went. The wind
was carrying it out to sea. Soon it became a mere
speck, doubtfully discerned at irregular intervals ;
and then the mystery of it was swallowed up by the
greater mystery of the ocean. Geddie stood still
upon the beach, smoking and looking out upon the
42 Cabbages and Kings
" Simon ! — Oh, Simon ! — wake up there, Si-
mon ! '* bawled a sonorous voice at the edge of the
Old Simon Cruz was a half-breed fisherman and
smuggler who lived in a hut on the beach. Out of
his earliest nap Simon was thus awakened.
He slipped on his shoes and went outside. Just
landing from one of the Valhalla^s boats was the third
mate of that vessel, who was an acquaintance of Si-
mon's, and three sailors from the fruiter.
" Go up, Simon," called the mate, **and find Dr.
Gregg or Mr. Goodwin or anybody that's a friend to
Mr. Geddie, and bring 'em here at once."
" Saints of the skies ! " said Simon, sleepily, " noth-
ing has happened to Mr. Geddie?"
" He's under that tarpauling," said the mate, point-
ing to the boat, " and he's rather more than half
drownded. We seen him from the steamer nearly a
mile out from shore, swimmin' like mad after a bottle
that was floatin' in the water, outward bound. We
lowered the gig and started for him. He nearly had
his hand on the bottle, when he gave out and went
under. We pulled him out in time to save him,
maybe; but the doctor is the one to decide that."
"A bottle?" said the old man, rubbing his eyes.
He was not yet fully awake. " Where is the bottle? "
The JLotuis and the Bottle 43
** Driftin' along out there some'eres," said the mate,
jerking his thumb toward the sea. "Get on with
Goodwin and the ardent patriot, Zavalla, took
all the precautions that their foresight could contrive
to prevent the escape of President Miraflores and his
companion. They sent trusted messengers up the
coast to Solitas and Alazan to warn the local leaders
of the flight, and to instruct them to patrol the water
line and arrest the fugitives at all hazards should they
reveal themselves in that territory. After this was
done there remained only to cover the district about
Coralio and await the coming of the quarry. The
nets were well spread. The roads were so few, the
opportimities for embarkation so limited, and the two
or three probable points of exit so well guarded that
it would be strange indeed if there should slip through
the meshes so much of the country's dignity, romance,
and collateral. The president would, without doubt,
move as secretly as possible, and endeavour to board
a vessel by stealth from some secluded point along the
On the fourth day after the receipt of Englehart's
telegram the Karlsefin^ a Norwegian steamer char-
tered by the New Orleans fruit trade, anchored off
Coralio with three hoarse toots of her siren. The
Karlsefin was not one of the line operated by the Ve-
suvius Fruit Company. She was something of a dilet-
tante, doing odd jobs for a company that was scarcely
important enough to figure as a rival to the Vesuvius.
The movements of the Karlsefin were dependent upon
the state of the market. Sometimes she would ply
steadily between the Spanish Main and New Orleans
in the regular transport of fruit ; next she would be
making erratic trips to Mobile or Charleston, or even
as far north as New York, according to the distribu-
tion of the fruit supply.
Groodwin lounged upon the beach with the usual
'crowd of idlers that had gathered to view the steamer.
Now that President Miraflores might be expected to
reach the borders of his abjured country at any time,
the orders were to keep a strict and unrelenting watch.
Every vessel that approached the shores might now be
considered a possible means of escape for the fugi-
tives; and an eye was kept even on the sloops and
dories that belonged to the sea-going contingent of
Coralio. Goodwin and Zavalla moved everywhere, but
without ostentation, watching the loopholes of escape.
46 Cabbages and Kings
The customs officials crowded importantly Into
their boat and rowed out to the KarUefin, A boat
from the steamer landed her purser with his papers,
and took out the quarantine doctor with his green
umbrella and clinical thermometer. Next a swarm of
Caribs began to load upon lighters the thousands of
bunches of bananas heaped upon the shore and row
them out to the steamer. The Karlsefin had no
passenger list, and was soon done with the attention
of the authorities. The purser declared that the
steamer would remain at anchor until morning, taking
on her fruit during the night. The Karlsefin had
come, he said, from New York, to which port her
latest load of oranges and cocoanuts had been con-
veyed. Two or three of the freighter sloops were en-
gaged to assist in the work, for the captain was anx-
ious to make a quick return in order to reap the
advantage offered by a certain dearth of fruit in the
About four o'clock in the afternoon another of those
marine monsters, not very familiar in those waters,
hove in sight, following the fateful Idalia — a grace-
ful steam yacht, painted a light buff, clean-cut as a
steel engraving. The beautiful vessel hovered off
shore, see-sawing the waves as lightly as a duck in a
rain barrel. A swift boat manned by a crew in uni-
form came ashore, and a stocky-built man leaped to
The new-comer seemed to turn a disapproving eye
upon the rather motley congregation of native Anchu-
rians, and made his way at once toward Goodwin, who
was the most conspicuously Anglo-Saxon figure pres-
ent. Goodwin greeted him with courtesy.
Conversation developed that the newly landed one
was named Smith, and that he had come in a yacht.
A meagre biography, truly; for the yacht was most
apparent ; and the " Smith " not beyond a reasonable
guess before the revelation. Yet to the eye of Good-
win, who had seen several things, there was a dis-
crepancy between Smith and his yacht. A bullet-
headed man Smith was, with an oblique, dead eye and
the moustache of a cocktail-mixer. And unless he
had shifted costumes before putting off for shore he
had affronted the deck of his correct vessel clad in a
pearl-gray derby, a gay plaid suit and vaudeville
neckwear. Men owning pleasure yachts generally
harmonize better with them.
Smith looked business, but he was no advertiser.
He commented upon the scenery, remarking upon its
fidelity to the pictures in the geography ; and then in-
quired for the United States consul. Goodwin pointed
out the starred-and-striped bunting hanging above the
48 Cabbages and Kings
little consulate, which was concealed behind the
" Mr. Geddie, the consul, will be sure to be there,"
said Goodwin. " He was very nearly drowned a
few days ago while taking a swim in the sea, and the
doctor has ordered him to remain indoors for some
Smith plowed his way through the sand to the con-
sulate, his haberdashery creating violent discord
against the smooth tropical blues and greens.
Geddie was lounging in his hammock, somewhat
pale of face and languid in pose. On that night when
the Valhalla*8 boat had brought him ashore appar-
ently drenched to death by the sea. Doctor Gregg and
his other friends had toiled for hours to preserve the
little spark of life that remained to him. The bottle,
with its impotent message, was gone out to sea, and
the problem that it had provoked was reduced to a
simple sum in addition — one and one make two, by
the rule of arithmetic ; one by the rule of romance.
There is a quaint old theory that man may have
two souls — a peripheral one which serves ordinarily,
and a central one which is stirred only at certain
times, but then with activity and vigour. While un-
der the domination of the former a man will shave,
vote, pay taxes, give money to his family, buy sub-
scription books and comport himself on the arerage
plan. But let the central soul sudden I v become dom-
inant, and he may, in the twinkling of an eve, turn
upon the partner of his jovs with furious execration ;
he may change his politics while you could snap your
fingers; he may deal out deadly insult to his dearest
friend ; he may get him, instanter, to a monastery or a
dance hall; he may elope, or hang himself — or he
may write a song or poem, or kiss his wife unasked, or
give his funds to the search of a microbe. Then the
peripheral soul will return ; and we have our safe,
sane citizen again. It is but the revolt of tlie Ego
against Order ; and its effect is to shake up the atoms
only that they may settle where they belong.
Geddie's revulsion had been a mild one — no more
than a swim in a summer sea after so inglorious an
object as a drifting bottle. And now he was himself
again. Upon his desk, ready for the post, was a let-
ter to his government tendering his resignation as con-
sul, to be effective as soon as another could be
appointed in his place. For Bernard Brannigan, who
never did things in a half-way manner, was to take
Geddie at once for a partner in his very profitable
and various enterprises ; and Paula was happily en-
gaged in plans for refurnishing and decorating the
upper story of the Brannigan house.
60 Cabbages and Kings
The consul rose from his hammock when he saw
the conspicuous stranger in his door.
" Keep your seat, old man," said the visitor, with
an airy wave of his large hand. " My name's Smith ;
and I've come in a yacht. You are the consul — is
that right? A big, cool guy on the beach directed me
here. Thought I'd pay my respects to the flag."
" Sit down," said Geddie. " I've been admiring
your craft ever since it came in sight. Looks like a
fast sailer. What's her tonnage? "
" Search me ! " said Smith. " I don't know what
she weighs in at. But she's got a tidy gait. The
Rambler — that's her name — don't take the dust
of anything afloat. This is my first trip on her. I'm
taking a squint along this coast just to get an idea
of the countries where the rubber and red pepper and
revolutions come from. I had no idea there was so
much scenery down here. Why, Central Park ain't
in it with this neck of the woods. I'm from New
York. They get monkeys, and cocoanuts, and par-
rots down here — is that right ? "
" We have them all," said Geddife. " I'm quite sure
that our fauna and flora would take a prize over
" Maybe they would," admitted Smith, cheerfully.
" I haven't seen them yet. But I guess you've got
Smith * 51
us skinned on the animal and vegetation question.
You don't have. much travel here, do you?"
"Travel?" queried the consul. "I suppose you
mean passengers on the steamers. No ; very few peo-
ple land in Coralio. An investor now and then —
tourists and sight-seers generally go further down the
coast to one of the larger towns where there is a
" I see a ship out there loading up with bananas,"
said Smith. "Any passengers come on her?"
" That's the K arise fin,'' said the consul. " She's
a tramp fruiter — made her last trip to New York,
I believe. No; she brought no passengers. I saw
her boat come ashore, and there was no one. About
the only exciting recreation we have here is watching
steamers when they arrive ; and a passenger on one of
them generally causes the whole town to turn out.
If you are going to remain in Coralio a while, Mr.
Smith, I'll be glad to take you around to meet some
people. There are four or five American chaps that
are good to know, besides the native high-fliers."
'' Thanks," said the yachtsman, " but I wouldn't
put you to the trouble. I'd like to meet the guys you
speak of, but I won't be here long enough to do much
knocking around. That cool gent on the beach spoke
of a doctor; can you tell me where I could find him?
52 • Cabbages and Kings
The Rambler ain't quite as steady on her feet as a
Broadway hotel ; and a fellow gets a touch of seasick-
ness now and then. Thought I'd strike the croaker
for a handful of the little sugar pills, in case I need
" You will be apt to find Dr. Gregg at the hotel,"
said the consul. " You can see it from the door —
it's that two-story building with the balcony, where
the orange-trees are."
The Hotel de los Estranjeros was a dreary hos-
telry, in great disuse both by strangers and friends.
It stood at a comer of the Street of the Holy Sepul-
chre. A grove of small orange-trees crowded against
one side of it, enclosed by a low, rock wall over which
a tall man might easily step. The house was of
plastered adobe, stained a hundred shades of colour
by the salt breeze and the sun. Upon its upper bal-
cony opened a central door and two windows con-
taining broad jalousies instead of sashes.
The lower floor communicated by two doorways
with the narrow, rock-paved sidewalk. The pulperia
— or drinking shop — of the proprietress, Madama
Timotea Ortiz, occupied the ground floor. On the
bottles of brandy, anisada, Scotch " smoke " and in-
expensive wines behind the little counter the dust lay
thick save where the fingers of infrequent customers
had left irregular prints. The upper story contained
four or five guest-rooms which were rarely put to
their destined use. Sometimes a fruit-grower, riding
in from his plantation to confer with his agent, would
pass a melancholy night in the dismal upper' story ;
sometimes a minor native official on some trifling gov-
ernment quest would have his pomp and majesty awed
by Madama's sepulchral hospitality. But Madama
sat behind her bar content, not desiring to quarrel
with Fate. If anyone required meat, drink or lodg-
ing at the Hotel de los Estranjeros they had but to
come, and be served. Estd bueno. If they came
not, why, then, they came not. Estd bueno.
As the exceptional yachtsman was making his way
down the precarious sidewalk of the Street of the
Holy Sepulchre, the solitary permanent guest of that
decaying hotel sat at its door, enjoying the breeze
from the sea.
^ Dr. Gregg, the quarantine physician, was a man of
fifty or sixty, with a florid face and the longest beard
between Topeka and Terra del Fuego. He held his
position by virtue of an appointment by the Board of
Health of a seaport city in one of the Southern states.
That city feared the ancient enemy of every Southern
54 Cabbages and Kings
seaport — the yellow fever — and it was the duty of
Dr. Gregg to examine crew and passengers of every
vessel leaving Coralio for preliminary symptoms.
The duties were light, and the salary, for one who
lived in Coralio, ample. Surplus time there was in
plenty ; and the good doctor added to his gains by a
large private practice among the residents of the
coast. The fact that he did not know ten words of
Spanish was no obstacle ; a pulse could be felt and a
fee collected without one being a linguist. Add to
the description the facts that the doctor had a story
to tell concerning the operation of trepanning which
no listener had ever allowed him to conclude, and that
he believed in brandy as a prophylactic ; and the spe-
cial points of intei*est possessed by Dr. Gregg will
have become exhausted.
The doctor had dragged a chair to the sidewalk.
He was coatless, and he leaned back against the wall
and smoked, while he stroked his beard. Surprise
came into his pale blue eyes when he caught sight of
Smith in his unusual and prismatic clothes.
" You're Dr. Gregg — is that right? " said Smith,
feeling the dog's head pin in his tie. " The constable
— I mean the consul, told me you hung out at this
caravansary. My name's Smith; and I came in a
yacht. Taking a cruise around, looking at the mon^
keys and pineapple-trees. Come inside and have a
drink, Doc. This cafe looks on the blink, but I
guess it can set out something wet."
" I will join you, sir, in just a taste of brandy,"
said Dr. Gregg, rising quickly. " I find that as a
prophylactic a little brandy is almost a necessity in
As they turned to enter the pulperia a native man,
barefoot, glided noiselessly up and addressed the doc-
tor in Spanish. He was yellowish-brown, like an
over-ripe lemon; he wore a cotton shirt and ragged
linen trousers girded by a leather belt. His face was
like an animal's, live and wary, but without promise of
much intelligence. This man jabbered with animation
and so much seriousness that it seemed a pity that his
words were to be wasted.
Dr. Gregg felt his pulse.
" You sick.'^ " he inquired.
" Mi mujer estd enferma en la casa,^' said the man,
thus endeavouring to convey the news, in the only
language open to him, that his wife lay ill in her
The doctor drew a handful of capsules filled with
a white powder from his trousers pocket. He counted
out ten of them into the native's hand, and held up
his forefinger impressively.
56 Cabbages and Kings
" Take one," said the doctor, " every two hours."
He then held up two fingers, shaking them emphat-
ically before the native's face. Next he pulled out his
watch and ran his finger round its dial twice. Again
the two fingers confronted the patient's nose. " Two
— two — two hours," repeated the doctor.
" Sly SenoTy*^ said the native, sadly.
He pulled a cheap silver watch from his own pocket
and laid it in the doctor's hand. " Me bring," said
he, struggling painfully with his scant English,
" other watchy to-morrow." Then he departed
down-heartedly with his capsules.
"A very ignorant race of people, sir," said the
doctor, as he slipped the watch into his pocket. '* He
seems to have mistaken my directions for taking the
physic for the fee. However, it is all right. He
owes me an account, anyway. The chances are that
he won't bring the other watch. You can't depend on
an3rthing they promise you. About that drink, now.?
How did you come to Coralio, Mr. Smith? I was not
aware that any boats except the Karhefin had arrived
for some days."
The two leaned against the deserted bar ; and Ma-
dama set out a bottle without waiting for the doctor's
order. There was no dust on it.
After they had drank twice Smith said :
" You say there were no passengers on the K arise-
fin. Doc? Are you sure about that? It seems to me
I heard somebody down on the beach say that there
■ was one or two aboard/'
" They were mistaken, sir. I myself went out and
put all hands through a medical examination, as usual.
The KarUefin sails as soon as she gets her bananas
loaded, which will be about daylight in the morning,
and she got everything ready this afternoon. No,
sir, there was no passenger list. Like th^t Three-
Star? A French schooner landed two slooploads of
it a month ago. If any customs duties on it went to
the distinguished republic of Anchuria you may have
my hat. If you won't have another, come out and
let's sit in the cool a while. It isn't often we exiles
get a chance to talk with somebody from the outside
The doctor brought out another chair to the side-
walk for his new acquaintance. The two seated
" You are a man of the world," said Dr. Gregg;
" a man of travel and experience. Your decision in a
matter of ethics and, no doubt, on the points of equity,
ability and professional probity should be of value.
I would be glad if you will listen to the history of a
case that I think stands unique in medical annals.
58 Cabbages and Kings
" About nine years ago, while I was engaged in the
practice of medicine in my native city, I was called to
treat a case of contusion of the skull. I made the di-
agnosis that a splinter of bone was pressing upon the
brain, and that the surgical operation known as tre-
panning was required. However, as the patient was
a gentleman of wealth and position, I called in for
consultation Dr. — "
Smith rose from his chair, and laid a hand, soft
^ith apology, upon the doctor's shirt sleeve.
" Say, Doc,'* he said, solemnly, " I want to hear
that story. You've got me interested; and I don't
want to miss the rest of it. I know it's a loola by the
way it begins ; and I want to tell it at the next meeting
of the Barney O'Flynn Association, if you don't mind.
But I've got one or two matters to attend to first. If
I get 'em attended to in time I'll come right back and
hear you spiel the rest before bedtime— is tha^*
" By all means," said the doctor, " get ydur busi-
ness attended to, and then return. I shall wait up
for you. You see, one of the most prominent physi-
cians at the consultation diagnosed the trouble as
a blood clot; another said it was an abscess, but
"Don't tell me now. Doc. Don't spoil the story.
Wait till I come back. I want to hear it as it
runs off the reel — is that right ? "
The mountains reached up their bulky shoulders
to receive the level gallop of Apollo's homing steeds,
the day died in the lagoons and in the shadowed ba-
nana groves and in the mangrove swamps, where the
great blue crabs were beginning to crawl to land for
their nightly ramble. And it died, at last, upon the
highest peaks. Then the brief twilight, ephemeral as
the flight of a moth, came and went; the Southern
Cross peeped with its topmost eye above a row of
palms, and the fire-flies heralded with their torches
the approach of soft-footed night.
In the offing the Karlsefin swayed at anchor, her
lights seeming to penetrate the water to countless
fathoms with their shimmering, lanceolate reflections.
The Caribs were busy loading her by means of the
great lighters heaped full from the piles of fruit
ranged upon the shore.
On the sandy beach, with his back against a cocoa-
nut-tree and the stubs of many cigars lying around
him, Smith sat waiting, never relaxing his sharp
gaze in the direction of the steamer.
The incongruous yachtsman had concentrated his
interest upon the innocent fruiter. Twice had he
been assured that no passengers had come to Coralio
60 Cabbages and Kings
on board of her. And yet, with a persistence not
to be attributed to an idling voyager, he had ap-
pealed the case to the higher court of his own eye-
sight. Surprisingly like some gay-coated lizard,
he crouched at the foot of the cocoanut palm, and
with the beady, shifting eyes of the selfsame reptile,
sustained his espionage on the Karlsefn,
On the white sands a whiter gig belonging to the
yacht was drawn up, guarded by one of the white-
ducked crew. Not far away in a ptdperia on the
shore-following Calle Grande three other sailors
swaggered with their cues around Coralio's solitary
billiard-table. The boat lay there as if under orders
to be ready for use at any moment. There was in
the atmosphere a hint of expectation, of waiting for
something to occur, which was foreign to the air of
Like some passing bird of brilliant plumage. Smith
alights on this palmy shore but to preen his wings
for an instant and then to fly away upon silent pin-
ions. When morning dawned there was no Smith,
no waiting gig, no yacht in the offing. Smith left
no intimation of his mission there, no footprints to
show where he had followed the trail of his mystery
on the sands of Coralio that night. He came; he
spake his strange jargon of the asphalt and thq
cafes; he sat under the cocoanut-tree, and vanished.
The next morning Coralio, Smithless, ate its fried
plantain and said : ** The man of pictured clothing
went himself away." With the siesta the incident
passed, yawning, into history.
So, for a time, must Smith pass behind the scenes
of the play. He comes no more to Coralio nor to
Doctor Gregg, who sits in vain, wagging his redun-
dant beard, waiting to enrich his derelict audience
with his moving tale of trepanning and jealousy.
But prosperously to the lucidity of these loose
pages. Smith shall flutter among them again. In
the nick of time he shall come to tell us why he
strewed so many anxious cigar stumps around the
cocoanut palm that night. This he must do; for,
when he sailed away before the dawn in his yacht
Rambler, he carried with him the answer to a riddle
so big and preposterous that few in Anchuria had
ventured even to propound it.
The plans for the detention of the flying President
Miraflores and his companion at the coast line
seemed hardly likely to fail. Dr. Zavalla himself
had gone to the port of Alazan to establish a guard
at that point. At Coi'alio the Liberal patriot Varras
could be depended upon to keep close watch. Good-
win held himself responsible for the district about
The news of the president's flight had been dis-
closed to no one in the coast towns save trusted mem-
bers of the ambitious political party that was
desirous of succeeding to power. The telegraph
wire running from San Mateo to the coast had been
cut far up on the mountain trail by an emissary of
Zavalla's. Long before this could be repaired and
word received along it from the capital the fugitives
would have reached the coast and the question of
escape or capture been solved.
Goodwin had stationed armed sentinels at fre-
quent intervals along the shore for a mile in each
direction from Coralio. They were instructed to
keep a vigilant lookout during the night to prevent
Miraflores from attempting to embark stealthily by
means of some boat or sloop found by chance at the
water's edge. A dozen patrols walked the streets of
Coralio unsuspected, ready to intercept the truant
official should he show himself there.
Goodwin was very well convinced that no precau-
tions had been overlooked. He strolled about the
streets that bore such high-sounding names and were
but narrow, grass-covered lanes, lending his own aid
to the vigil that had been intrusted to him by Bob
The town had begun the tepid round of its nightly
diversions. A few leisurely dandies, clad in white
duck, with flowing neckties, and swinging slim bam-
boo canes, threaded the grassy by-ways toward the
houses of their favoured senoritas. Those who
wooed the art of music dragged tirelessly at whining
concertinas, or fingered lugubrious guitars at doors
and windows. An occasional soldier from the cuar-
tel, with flapping straw hat, without coat or shoes,
hurried by, balancing his long gun like a lance in one
hand. From every density of the foliage the giant
tree frogs sounded their loud and irritating clatter.
64 Cabbages and Kings
Further out, where the by-ways perished at the brink
of the jungle, the guttural cries of marauding bab-
oons and the coughing of the alligators in the black
estuaries fractured the vain silence of the wood.
By ten o'clock the streets were deserted. The oil
lamps that had burned, a sickly yellow, at random
comers, had been extinguished by some economical
civic agent. Coralio lay sleeping calmly between top-
pling mountains and encroaching sea like a stolen
babe in the arms of its abductors. Somewhere over
in that tropical darkness — perhaps already thread-
ing the profundities of the alluvial lowlands — the
high adventurer and his mate were moving toward
land's end. The game of Fox-in-the-Moming
should be coming soon to its close.
Goodwin, at his deliberate gait, passed the long,
low cuartel where Coralio's contingent of Anchuria's
military force slumbered, with its bare toes pointed
heavenward. There was a law that no civilian
might come so near the headquarters of that citadel
of war after nine o'clock, but Goodwin was always
forgetting the minor statutes.
" Quien vivef " shrieked the sentinel, wrestling
prodigiously with his lengthy musket.
" Americano y^^ growled Goodwin, without turning
his head, and passed on, unhalted.
To the right he turned, and to the left up the
street that ultimately reached the Plaza Nacional.
When within the toss of a cigar stump from the in-
tersecting Street of the Holy Sepulchre, he stopped
suddenly in the pathway.
He saw the form of a tall man, clothed in black
and carrying a large valise, hurry down the cross-
street in the direction of the beach. And Goodwin's
second glance made him aware of a woman at the
man's elbow on the farther side, who seemed to urge
forward, if not even to assist, her companion in their
swift but silent progress. They were no Coralians,
Groodwin followed at increased speed, but without
any of the artful tactics that are so dear to the heart
of the sleuth. The American was too broad to feel
the instinct of the detective. He stood as an agent
for the people of Anchuria, and but for political
reasons he would have demanded then and there the
money. It was the design of his party to secure the
imperilled fund, to restore it to the treasury of
the country, and to declare itself in power without
bloodshed or resistance.
The couple halted at the door of the Hotel de los
Estranjeros, and the man struck upon the wood with
the impatience of one unused to his entry being
66 Cabbages and Kings
stayed. Madama was long in response; but after a
time her light showed, the door was opened, and the
Goodwin stood in the quiet street, lighting another
cigar. In two minutes a faint gleam began to show
between the slats of the jalousies in the upper story
of the hotel. " They have engaged rooms," said
Goodwin to himself. " So, then, their arrangements
for sailing have yet to be made."
At that moment there came along one Esteban
Delgado, a barber, an enemy to existing government,
a jovial plotter against stajgnation in any form.
This barber was one of Coralio's saddest dogs, often
remaining out of doors as late as eleven, post merid-
ian. He was a partisan Liberal; and he greeted
Goodwin with flatulent importance as a brother in
the cause. But he had something important to tell.
" What think you, Don Frank ! " he cried, in the
universal tone of the conspirator. " I have to-night
shaved la barba — what you call the * weeskers * of
the Presidente himself, of this countree! Consider!
He sent for me to come. In the poor casita of an
old woman he awaited me — in a verree leetle house
in a dark place. Carramba! — el Seiior Presidente
to make himself thus secret and obscured! I think
he desired not to be known — but, carajo! can you
shave a man and not see his face? This gold piece
he gave me, and said it was to be all quite still. I
think, Don Frank, there is what you call a chip over
" Have you ever seen President Miraflores be-
fore?" asked Goodwin.
" But once," answered Esteban. " He is tall ; and
he had weeskers, verree black and sufficient."
" Was anyone else present when you shaved
" An old Indian woman, Senor, that belonged with
the casa, and one sefiorita — a ladee of so much
beautee ! — ah, Dios! "
" All right, Esteban," said Goodwin. " It's very
lucky that you happened along with your ton serial
information. The new administration will be likely
to remember you for this."
Then in a few words he made the barber ac-
quainted with the crisis into which the affairs of the
nation had culminated, and instructed him to remain
outside, keeping watch upon the two sides of the
hotel that looked upon the street, and observing
whether anyone should attempt to leave the house by
any door or window. Goodwin himself went to the
door through which the guests had entered, opened
it and stepped inside.
68 Cabbages and Kings
Madama had returned downstairs from her jour-
ney above to see after the comfort of her lodgers.
Her candle stood upon the bar. She was about to
take a thimbleful of rum as a solace for having her
rest disturbed. She looked up without surprise or
alarm as her third caller entered.
" Ah ! it is the Senor Goodwin. Not often does
he honour my poor house by his presence."
" I must come oftener," said Goodwin, with the
Goodwin smile. " I hear that your cognac is the
best between Belize to the north and Rio to
the south. Set out the bottle, Madama, and let us
have the proof in un vasito for each of us."
" My aguardiente J** said Madama, with pride, ** is
the best. It grows, in beautiful bottles, in the dark
places among the banana-trees. iSi, Senor, Only
at midnight can they be picked by sailor-men who
bring them, before daylight comes, to your back
door. Good agiuirdiente is a verree difficult fruit to
handle, Sefior Goodwin."
Smuggling, in Coralio, was much nearer than
competition to being the life of trade. One spoke of
it slyly, yet with a certain conceit, when it had been
" You have guests in the house to-night," said
Goodwin, laying a silver dollar upon the counter.
"Why not? " said Madama, counting the change.
"Two; but the smallest while finished to arrive.
One senor, not quite old, and one sefiorita of sufB-
cient handsomeness. To their rooms they have as-
cended, not desiring the to-eat nor the to-drink.
Two rooms — Numero 9 and Numero 10."
" I was expecting that gentleman and that lady,"
said Goodwin. " I have important negocw that
must be transacted. Will you allow me to see
"Why not?" sighed Madama, placidly. "Why
should not Senor Goodwin ascend and speak to his
friends? Estd bueno. Room Numero 9 and room
Goodwin loosened in his coat pocket the American
revolver that he carried, and ascended the steep, dark
In the hallway above, the saffron light from a
hanging lamp allowed him to select the gaudy num-
bers on the doors. He turned the knob of Number
9, entered and closed the door behind him.
If that was Isabel Guilbert seated by the table in
that poorly furnished room, report had failed to do
her charms justice. She rested her head upon one
hand. Extreme fatigue was signified in every line
of her figure ; and upon her countenance a deep per-
70 Cabbages and Kings
plexity was written. Her eyes were gray-irised, and
of that mould that seems to have belonged to the
orbs of all the famous queens of hearts. Their
whites were singularly cleaj* and brilliant, concealed
above the irises by heavy horizontal lids, and show-
ing a snowy line below them. Such eyes denote
great nobility, vigour, and, if you can conceive of
it, a most generous selfishness. She looked up when
the American entered, with an expression of sur-
prised inquiry, but without alarm. .
Goodwin took off his hat and seated himself, with
his characteristic deliberate ease, upon a corner of
the table. He held a lighted cigar between his fin-
gers. He took this familiar course because he was
sure that preliminaries would be wasted upon Miss
Guilbert. He knew her history, and the small part
that the conventions had played in it.
" Good evening," he said. " Now, madame, let
us come to business at once. You will observe that
I mention no names, but I know who is in the next
room, and what he carries in that valise. That is
the point which brings me here. I have come to dic-
tate terms of surrender."
The lady neither moved nor replied, but steadily
regarded the cigar in Goodwin's hand.
" We," continued the dictator, thoughtfully re-
garding the neat buckskin shoe on his gently swing-
ing foot — " I speak for a considerable majority of
the people — demand the return of the stolen funds
belonging to them. Our terms go very little further
than that. They are very simple. As an accred-
ited spokesman, I promise that our interference will
cease if they are accepted. Give up the money, and
jou and your companion will be permitted to pro-
ceed wherever you will. In fact, assistance will be
given you in the matter of securing a passage by any
outgoing vessel you may choose. It is on my per-
sonal responsibility that I add congratulations to the
gentleman in Number 10 upon his taste in feminine
Returning his cigar to his mouth, Goodwin ob-
served her, and saw that her eyes followed it and
rested upon it with icy and significant concentration.
Apparently she had not heard a word he had said.
He understood, tossed the cigar out the window,
and, with an amused laugh, slid from the table to
"That is better,'V said the lady. "It makes it
possible for me to listen to you. For a second lesson
in good manners, you might now tell me by whom I
am being insulted."
" I am sorry," said Goodwin^ leaning one hand on
72 Cabbages and Kings
the table, "that my time is too brief for devoting
much of it to a course of etiquette. Come, now; I
appeal to your good sense. You have shown your-
self, in more than one instance, to be well aware of
what is to your advantage. This is an occasion that
demands the exercise of your undoubted intelligence.
There is no mystery here. I am Frank Goodwin;
and I have come for the money. I entered this room
at a venture. Had I entered the other I would have
had it before now. Do you want it in words? The
gentleman in Number 10 has betrayed a great trust.
He has robbed his people of a large sum, and it is I
who will prevent their losing it. I do not say who
that gentleman is; but if I should be forced to see
him and he should prove to be a certain high official
of the republic, it will be my duty to arrest him.
The house is guarded. I am offering you liberal
terms. It is not absolutely necessary that I confer
personally with the gentleman in the next room.
Bring me the valise containing the money, and we will
call the affair ended.'*
The lady arose from her chair and stood for a mo-
ment, thinking deeply.
" Do you live here, Mr. Goodwin ? " she asked,
"What is your authority for this intrusion? "
" I am an instrument of the republic. I was ad-
vised by wire of the movements of the — gentleman
in Number 10."
" May I ask you two or three questions ? I be-
lieve you to be a man more apt to be truthful than —
timid. What sort of a town is this — Coralio, I
think they call it?"
" Not much of a town," said Goodwin, smiling.
" A banana town, as they run. Grass huts, 'dobes,
five or six two-story houses, accommodations limited,
population half-breed Spanish and Indian, Caribs
and blackamoors. No sidewalks to speak of, no
amusements. Rather unmoral. That's an offhand
sketch, of course."
" Are there any inducements, say in a social or in
a business way, for people to reside here? "
" Oh, yes," answered Goodwin, smiling broadly.
" There are no afternoon teas, no hand-organs, no
department stores — and there is no extradition
" He told me," went on the lady, speaking as if to
herself, and with a slight frown, " that there were
towns on this coast of beauty and importance; that
there was a pleasing social order — especially an
American colony of cultured residents."
74 Cabbages and Kings
" There is an American colony," said Groodwin,
gazing at her in some wonder. " Some of the mem-
bers are all right. Some are fugitives from justice
from the States. I recall two exiled bank presi-
dents, one army paymaster under a cloud, a couple
of manslayers, and a widow — arsenic, I believe,
was the suspicion in her case. I myself complete
the colony, but, as yet, I have not distinguished my-
self by any particular crime."
" Do not lose hope," said the lady, dryly ; " I see
nothing in your actions to-night to guarantee you
further obscurity. Some mistake has been made; I
do not know just where. But him you shall not dis-
turb to-night. The journey has fatigued him so
that he has fallen asleep, I think, in his clothes.
You talk of stolen money! I do not understand
you. Some mistake has been made. I will con-
vince you. Remain where you are and I will bring
you the valise that you seem to covet so, and show
it to you."
She moved toward the closed door that connected
the two rooms, but stopped, and half turned and be-
stowed upon Goodwin a grave, searching look that
ended in a quizzical smile.
" You force my door," she said, " and you follow
your ruffianly behaviour with the basest accusations ;
and yet " — she hesitated, as if to reconsider what
she was about to say — " and yet — it is a puzzling
thing — I am sure there has been some mistake."
She took a step toward the door, but Goodwin
stayed her by a light touch upon her arm. I have
said before that women turned to look at him in the
streets. He was the viking sort of man, big, good-
looking, and with an air of kindly truculence. She
was dark and proud, glowing or pale as her mood
moved her. I do not know if Eve were light or dark,
but if such a woman had stood in the garden I know
that the apple would have been eaten. This woman
was to be Goodwin's fate, and he did not know it ; but
he must have felt the first throes of destiny, for, as
he faced her, the knowledge of what report named
her turned bitter in his throat.
" If there has been any mistake," he said, hotly,
" it was yours. I do not blame the man who has
lost his country, his honour, and is about to lose the
poor consolation of his stolen riches as much as I
blame you, for, by Heaven! I can very well see how
he was brought to it. I can understand, and pity
him. It is such women as you that strew this de-
graded coast with wretched exiles, that make men
forget their trusts, that drag — "
The lady interrupted him with a weary gesture.
76 Cabbages and Kings
" There is no need to continue your insults," she
said, coldly. " I do not understand what you are
saying, nor do I know what mad blunder you are
making; but if the inspection of the contents of a
gentleman's portmanteau will rid me of you, let us
delay it no longer."
She passed quickly and noiselessly into the other
room, and returned with the heavy leather valise,
which she handed to the American with an air of
Goodwin set the valise quickly upon the table and
began to unfasten the straps. The lady stood by,
with an expression of infinite scorn and weariness
upon her face.
The valise opened wide to a powerful, sidelong
wrench. Goodwin dragged out two or three articles
of clothing, exposing the bulk of its contents —
package after package of tightly packed United
States bank and treasury notes of large denomina-
tion. Reckoning from the high figures written upon
the paper bands that bound them, the total must have
come closely upon the hundred thousand mark.
Goodwin glanced swiftly at the woman, and saw,
with surprise and a thrill of pleasure that he won-
dered at, that she had experienced an unmistakable
shock. Her eyes grew wide, she gasped, and leaned
heavily against the table. She had been ignorant,
then, he inferred, that her companion had looted the
government treasury. But why, he angrily asked
himself, should he be so well pleased to think this
wandering and unscrupulous singer not so black as
report had painted her?
A noise in the other room startled them both.
The door swung open, and a tall, elderly, dark com-
plexioned man, recently shaven, hurried into the
All the pictures of President Miraflores represent
him as the possessor of a luxuriant supply of dark
and carefully tended whiskers; but the story of the
barber, Esteban, had prepared Goodwin for the
The man stumbled in from the dark room, his eyes
blinking at the lamplight, and heavy from sleep.
" What does this mean ? " he demanded in excel-
lent English, with a keen and perturbed look at the
American — " robbery ? "
" Very near it," answered Goodwin. " But I
rather think I'm in time to prevent it. I represent
the people to whom this money belongs, and I have
come to convey it back to them." He thrust his
hand into a pocket of his loose, linen coat.
The other man's hand went quickly behind him.
78 Cabbages and Kings
" Don?t draw," called Goodwin, sharply ; " I've
got you covered from my pocket."
The lady stepped forward, and laid one hand upon
the shoulder of her hesitating companion. She
pointed to the table. " Tell me the truth — the
truth," she said, in a low voice. " Whose money is
The man did not answer. He gave a deep, long-
drawn sigh, leaned and kissed her on the forehead,
stepped back into the other room and closed the door.
Goodwin foresaw his purpose, and jumped for the
door, but the report of the pistol echoed as his hand
touched the knob. A heavy fall followed, and some
one swept him aside and struggled into the room of
the fallen man.
A desolation, thought Goodwin, greater than that
derived from the loss of cavalier and gold must have
been in the heart of the enchantress to have wrung
frgm her, in that moment, the cry of one turning to
the all-forgiving, all-comforting earthly consoler —
to have made her call out from that bloody and dis-
honoured room — " Oh, mother, mother, mother ! "
But there was an alarm outside. The barber,
Esteban, at the sound of the shot, had raised his
voice; and the shot itself had aroused half the town.
A pattering of feet came up the street, and official
orders rang out on the still air. Goodwin had a
duty to perform. Circumstances had made him the
custodian of his adopted country's treasure. Swiftly
cramming the money into the valise, he closed it,
leaned far out of the window and dropped it into a
thick orange-tree in the little inclosure below.
They will tell you in Coralio, as they delight in
telling the stranger, of the conclusion of that tragic
flight. They will tell you how the upholders of the
law came apace when the alarm was sounded — the
Comandante in red slippers and a jacket like a head
waiter's and girded sword, the soldiers with their in-
terminable guns, followed by outnumbering officers
struggling into their gold lace and epaulettes; the
barefooted policemen (the only capables in the lot),
and ruffled citizens of every hue and description.
They say that the countenance of the dead man
was marred sadly by the effects of the shot; but he
was Identified as the fallen president by both Good-
win and the barber Esteban. On the next morning
messages began to come over the mended telegraph
wire ; and the story of the flight from the capital was
given out to the public. In San Mateo the revolu-
tionary party had seized the sceptre of government,
without opposition, and the vivas of the mercurial
80 Cabbages and Kings
populace quickly effaced the interest belonging to
the unfortunate Miraflores.
They will relate to you how the new government
sifted the towns and raked the roads to find the valise
containing Anchuria's surplus capital, which the
president was known to have carried with him, but
all in vain. In Coralio Seiior Goodwin himself led
the searching party which combed that town as care-
fully as a woman combs her hair ; but the money was
So they buried the dead man, without honours,
back of the town near the little bridge that spans the
mangrove swamp ; and for a real a boy will show you
his grave. They say that the old woman in whose
hut the barber shaved the president placed the
wooden slab at his head, and burned the inscription
upon it with a hot iron.
You will hear also that Seiior Goodwin, like a
tower of strength, shielded Dofia Isabel Guilbert
through those subsequent distressful days; and that
his scruples as to her past career (if he had any)
vanished; and her adventuresome waywardness (if
she had any) left her, and they were wedded and
The American built a home on a little foot hill
near the town. It is a conglomerate structure of
native woods that, exported, would be worth a for-
tune, and of brick, palm, glass, bamboo and adobe.
There is a paradise of nature about it; and some-
thing of the same sort within. The natives speak
of its interior with hands uplifted in admiration.
There are floors polished like mirrors and covered
with hand-woven Indian rugs of silk fibre, tall orna-
ments and pictures, musical instruments and papered
walls — " figure-it-to-yourself ! " they exclaim.
But they cannot tell you in Coralio (as you shall
learn) what became of the money that Frank Good-
win dropped into the orange-tree. But that shall
come later; for the palms are fluttering in the
breeze, bidding us to sport and gaiety.
CUPID'S EXILE NUMBER TWO
1 HE United States of America, after looking over
its stock of consular timber, selected Mr. John De
Graffenreid Atwood, of Dalesburg, Alabama, for a
successor to Willard Geddie, resigned.
Without prejudice to Mr. Atwood, it will have to
be acknowledged that, in this instance, it was the
man who sought the office. As with the self-ban-
ished Geddie, it was nothing less than the artful
smiles of lovely woman that had driven Johnny At-
wood to the desperate expedient of accepting office
under a despised Federal Government so that he
might go far, far away and never see again the false,
fair face that had wrecked his young life. The con-
sulship at Coralio seemed to offer a retreat suffi-
ciently removed and romantic enough to inject the
necessary drama into the pastoral scenes of Dales-
It was while playing the part of Cupid's exile that
Johnny added his handiwork to the long list of casu-
Cupid's Exile Number Two 83
alties along the Spanish Main by his famous ma-
nipulation of the shoe market, and his unparalleled
feat of elevating the most despised and useless weed
in his own country from obscurity to be a valuable
product in international commerce.
The trouble began, as trouble often begins instead
of ending, with a romance. In Dalesburg there was
a man named Elijah Hemstetter, who kept a general
store. His family consisted of one daughter called
Rosine, a name that atoned much for " Hemstetter."
This young woman was possessed of plentiful attrac-
tions, so that the young men of the community were
agitated in their bosoms. Among the more agitated
was Johnny, the son of Judge Atwood, who lived in
the big colonial mansion on the edge of Dalesburg.
It would seem that the desirable Rosine should
have been pleased to return the affection of an At-
wood, a name honoured all over the state long before
and since the war. It does, seem that she should have
gladly consented to have been led into that stately
but rather empty colonial mansion. But not so.
There was- a cloud on the horizon, a threatening,
cumulus cloud, in the shape of a lively and shrewd
young farmer in the neighbourhood who dared to
enter the lists as a rival to the high-bom Atwood.
O"*^ night Johnny propounded to Rosine a ques-
84 Cabbages and Kings
tion that IS considered of much importance by the
young of the human species. The accessories were
all there — moonlight, oleanders, magnolias, the
mock-bird's song. Whether or no the shadow of
Pinkney Dawson, the prosperous young farmer came
between them on that occasion is not known; but
Rosine's answer was unfavourable. Mr. John De
Graffenreid Atwood bowed till his hat touched the
lawn grass, and went away with his head high, but
with a sore wound in his pedigree and heart. A
Hemstetter refuse an Atwood! Zounds!
Among other accidents of that year was a Demo-
cratic president. Judge Atwood was a warhorse of
Democracy. Johnny persuaded him to set the
wheels moving for some foreign appointment. He
would go away — away. Perhaps in years to come
Rosine would think how tjTue, how faithful his love
had been, and would drop a tear — maybe in the
cream she would be skimming for Pink Dawson's
The wheels of politics revolved; and Johnny was
appointed consul to Coralio. Just before leaving
he dropped in at Hemstetter's to say good-bye.
There was a queer, pinkish look about Rosine's eyes ;
and had the two been alone, the United States might
have had to cast about for another consul. But
Cupid's Eocile Number Two 85
Pink Dawson was there, of course, talking about his
400-acre orchard, and the three-mile alfalfa tract,
and the 200-acre pasture. So Johnny shook hands
with Rosine as coolly as if he were only going to run
up to Montgomery for a couple of days. They had
the royal manner when they chose, those At woods.
" If you happen to strike anything in the way of
a good investment down there, Johnny," said Pink
Dawson, "just let me know, will you? I reckon I
could lay my hands on a few extra thousands 'most
any time for a profitable deal."
" Certainly, Pink," said Johnny, pleasantly. " If
I strike anything of the sort I'll let you in with
So Johnny went down to Mobile and took a fruit
steamer for the coast of Anchuria.
When the new consul arrived in Coralio the
strangeness of the scenes diverted him much. He
was only twenty-two; and the grief of youth is not
worn like a garment as it is by older men. It has
its seasons when it reigns; and then it is unseated
for a time by the assertion of the keen senses.
Billy Keogh and Johnny seemed to conceive a
mutual friendship at once. Keogh took the new con-
sul about town and presented him to the handful of
Americans and the smaller number of French and
86 Cabbages and Kings
Germans who made up the " foreign " contingent.
And then, of course, he had to be more formally in-
troduced to the native officials, and have his creden-
tials transmitted through an interpreter.
There was something about the young Southerner
that the sophisticated Keogh liked. His manner
was simple almost to boyishness; but he possessed
the cool carelessness of a man of far greater age and
experience. Neither uniforms nor titles, red tape
nor foreign languages, mountains nor sea weighed
upon his spirits. He was heir to all the ages, an
Atwood, of Dalesburg; and you might know every
thought conceived in his bosom.
Geddie came down to the consulate to explain the
duties and workings of the office. He and Keogh
tried to interest the new consul in their description
of the work that his government expected him to
" It's all right," said Johnny from the hammock
that he had set up as the official reclining place.
" If anything turns up that has to be done I'll let
you fellows do it. You can't expect a Democrat to
work during his first term of holding office."
" You might look over these headings," suggested
Geddie, " of the different lines of exports you will
have to keep account of. The fruit is classified;
Cupid's Eonle Number Two 87
and there are the valuable woods, coffee, rubber — "
" That last account sounds all right," interrupted
Mr. Atwood. " Sounds as if it could be stretched.
I want to buy a new flag, a monkey, a guitar and
a barrel of pineapples. Will that rubber account
stretch over 'em ? "
" That's merely statistics," said Geddie, smiling.
" The expense account is what you want. It is
supposed to have a slight elasticity. The * station-
ery ' items are sometimes carelessly audited by the
" We're wasting our time," said Keogh. " This
man was born to hold office. He penetrates to the
root of the art at one step of his eagle eye. The
true genius of government shows its hand in every
word of his speech."
" I didn't take this job with any intention of work-
ing," explained Johnny, lazily. " I wanted to go
somewhere in the world where they didn't talk about
farms. There are none here, are there? "
" Not the kind you are acquainted with," answered
the ex-consul. " There is no such art here as agri-
culture. There never was a plow or a reaper within
the boundaries of Anchuria."
" This is the country for me," murmured the con-
sul, and immediately he fell asleep.
88 Cabbages and Kings
The cheerful tintypist pursued his intimacy with
Johnny in spite of open charges that he did so to
obtain a preemption on a seat in that coveted spot,
the rear gallery of the consulate. But whether his
designs were selfish or purely friendly, Keogh
achieved that desirable privilege. Few were the
nights on which the two could not be found reposing
there in the sea breeze, with their heels on the railing,
and the cigars and brandy conveniently near.
One evening they sat thus, mainly silent, for their
talk had dwindled before the stilling influence of an
There was a great, full moon; and the sea was
mother-of-pearl. Almost every sound was hushed,
for the air wa^ but faintly stirring; and the town
lay panting, waiting for the night to cool. Off-
shore lay the fruit steamer AndadoTy of the Vesuvius
line, full-laden and scheduled to sail at six in the
morning. There were no loiterers on the beach. So
bright was the moonlight that the two men could see
the small pebbles shining on the beach where the
gentle surf wetted them.
Then down the coast, tacking close to shore, slowly
swam a little sloop, white-winged like some snowy
sea fowl. Its course lay within twenty points of the
wind's eye; so it veered in and out again in long,
Cupid's Exile Number Two 89
slow strokes like the movements of a graceful skater.
Again the tactics of its crew brought it close in
shore, this time nearly opposite the consulate; and
then there blew from the sloop clear and surprising
notes as if from a horn of elfland. A fairy bugle
it might have been, sweet and silvery and unexpected,
playing with spirit the familiar air of " Home,
It was a scene set for the land of the lotus. The
authority of the sea and the tropics, the mystery that
attends unknown sails, and the prestige of drifting
music on moonlit waters gave it an anodynous
charm. Johnny Atwood felt it, and thought of
Dalesburg; but as soon as Keogh's mind had ar-
rived at a theory concerning the peripatetic solo he
sprang to the railing, and his ear-rending yawp
fractured the silence of Coralio like a cannon shot.
" Mel-lin-ger a-hoy ! "
The sloop was now on its outward tack ; but from
it came a clear, answering hail:
" Good-bye, Billy . . . go-ing home — bye ! "
The Andador was the sloop's destination. No
doubt some passenger with a sailing permit from
some up-the-coast point had come down in this sloop
to catch the regular fruit steamer on its return trip.
Like a coquettish pigeon the little boat tacked on its
90 Cabbages and Kings
eccentric way until at last its white sail was lost to
sight against the larger bulk of the fruiter's side.
" That's old H. P. Mellinger," explained Keogh,
dropping back into his chair. " He's going back to
New York. He was private secretary of the late
hot-foot president of this grocery and fruit stand
that they call a country. His job's over. now; and
I guess old Mellinger is glad."
" Why does he disappear to music, like Zo-zo, the
magic queen? " asked Johnny. " Just to show 'em
that he doesn't care ? "
" That noise you heard is a phonograph," said
Keogh. " I sold him that. Mellhiger had a graft
in this country that was the^only thing of its kind
in the world. The tooting machine saved it for him
once, and he always carried it around with him after-
" Tell me about it," demanded Johnny, betraying
" I'm no disseminator of narratives," said Keogh.
" I can use language for purposes of speech ; but
when I attempt a discourse the words come out as
they will, and they may make sense when they strike
the atmosphere, or they may not."
" I want to hear about that graft," persisted
Johnny. " You've got no right to refuse. I've
Cupid's ExiU Nnmber Two 91
told you all about every man, woman and hitching
post in Dalesburg."
" You shall hear it," said Keogh. " I said my
instincts of narrative were perplexed. Don't you
believe it. It's an art I've acquired along with
many other of the graces and sciences."
THE PHONOGRAPH AND THE GRAFT
**WhAT was this graft?'' asked Johnny, with
the impatience of the great public to whom tales are
" 'Tis contrary to art and philosophy to give you
the information," said Keogh, calmly. " The art of
narrative consists in concealing from your audience
everything it wants to know until after you expose
■ — •
your favourite opinions on topics foreign to the sub-
ject. A good story is like a bitter pill with the sugar
coating inside of it. I will begin, if you please, with
a horoscope located in the Cherokee Nation; and end
with a moral tune on the phonograph.
" Me and Henry HorsecoUar brought the first
phonograph to this country. Henry was a quarter-
breed, quarter-back Cherokee, educated East in the
idioms of football, and West in contraband whisky,
and a gentleman, the same as you and me. He was
easy and romping in his ways ; a man about six foot,
with a kind of rubber-tire movement. Yes, he wag a
The Phonograph and the Graft 93
little man about five foot five, or five foot eleven.
He was what you would call a medium tall man of
average smallness. Henry had quit college once,
and the Muscogee jail three times — the last-named
institution on account of introducing and selling
whisky in the territories. Henry Horsecollar never
let any cigar stores come up and stand behind him.
He didn't belong to that tribe of Indians.
" Henry and me met at Texarkana, and figured
out this phonograph scheme. He had $360 which
came to him out of a land allotment in the reserva-
tion. I had run down from Little Rock on account
of a distressful scene I had witnessed on the street
there. A man stood on a box and passed around
some gold watches, screw case, stem-winders, Elgin
movement, very elegant. Twenty bucks they cost
you over the counter. At three dollars the crowd
fought for the tickers. The man happened to find
a valise full of them handy, and he passed them out
like putting hot biscuits on a plate. The backs were
hard to unscrew, but the crowd put its ear to the
case, and they ticked mollifying and agreeable.
Three of these watches were genuine tickers ; the
rest were only kickers. Hey? Why, empty cases
with one of them horny black bugs that fly around
electric lights in 'em. Them bugs kick off minutes
94 Cabbages and Kings
and seconds industrious and beautiful. So, this
man I was speaking of cleaned up $288 ; and then he
went away, because he knew that when it came time
to wind watches in Little Rock an entomologist would
be needed, and he wasn't one.
" So, as I say, Henry had $360, and I had $888.
The idea of introducing the phonograph to South
America was Henry's; but I took to it freely, being
fond of machinery of all kinds.
" * The Latin races,' says Henry, explaining easy
in the idioms he learned at college, ^ are peculiarly
adapted to be victims of the phonograph. They
have the artistic temperament. They yearn for
music and color and gaiety. They give wampum to
the hand-organ man and the four-legged chicken in
the tent when they're months behind with the grocery
and the bread-fruit tree.'
" * Then,' says I, * we'll export canned music to
the Latins; but I'm mindful of Mr. Julius Caesar's
account of 'em where he says : " Omnia Gallia in
tres partes divisa est; ** which is the same as to say,
" We will need all of our gall in devising means to
tree them parties." '
" I hated to make a show of education ; but I
was disinclined to be overdone in syntax by a mere
Indian, a member of a race to which we owe nothing
The Phonograph arid the Graft 95
except the land on which the United States is sit-
" We bought a fine phonograph in Texarkana —
one of the best make — and half a trunkful of rec-
ords. We packed up, and took the T. and P. for
New Orleans. From that celebrated centre of mo-
lasses and disfranchised coon songs we took a steamer
for South America.
" We landed at Solitas, forty miles up the coast
from here. 'Twas a palatable enough place to look
at. The houses were clean and white; and to look
at 'em stuck around among the scenery they re-
minded you of hard-boiled eggs served with lettuce.
Th^re was a block of skyscraper mountains in the
suburbs; and they kept pretty quiet, like they had
crept up there and were watching the town. And
the sea was remarking * Sh-sh-sh ' on the beach ;
and now and then a ripe cocoanut would drop ker-
blip in the sand; and that was all there was doing.
Yes, I judge that town was considerably on the quiet.
I judge that after Gabriel quits blowing his horn,
and the car starts, with Philadelphia swinging to the
last strap, and Pine Gully, Arkansas, hanging onto
the rear step, this town of Solitas will wake up and
ask if anybody spoke.
" The captain went ashore with us, and offered to
96 Cabbages and Kings
conduct what he seemed to like to call the obsequies.
He introduced Henry and me to the United States
Consul, and a roan man, the head of the Department
of Mercenary and Licentious Dispositions, the way
it read upon his sign.
" * I touch here again a week from to-day,' says
" * By that time,' we told him, * we'll be amassing
wealth in the interior towns with our galvanized
prima donna and correct imitations of Sousa's band
excavating a march from a tin mine.'
" ' Ye'U not,' says the captain. * Ye'U be hypno-
tized. Any gentleman in the audience who kindly
steps upon the stage and looks this country in the
eye will be converted to the hypothesis that he's but
a fly in the Elgin creamery. Ye'U be standing knee
deep in the surf waiting for me, and your machine
for making Hamburger steak out of the hitherto re-
spected art of music will be playing " There's no
place like home." '
" Henry skinned a twenty off his roll, and received
from the Bureau of Mercenary Dispositions a paper
bearing a red seal and a dialect story, and no change.
" Then we got the consul full of red wine, and
struck him for a horoscope. He was a thin, young-
ish kind of man, I should say past fifty, sort of
The Phonograph and the Graft 97
French-Irish in his affections, and puffed up with
disconsolation. Yes, he was a flattened kind of a
man, in whom drink lay stagnant, inclined to cor-
pulence and misery. Yes, I think he was a kind of
Dutchman, being very sad and genial in his ways.
" * The marvelous invention,' he says, * entitled
the phonograph, has never invaded these shores.
The people have never heard it. They would not
believe it if they should. Simple-hearted children
of nature, progress has never condemned them to ac-
cept the work of a can-opener as an overture, and
rag-time might incite them to a bloody revolution.
But you can try the experiment. The best chance
you have is that the populace may not wake up when
you play. There's two ways,' says the consul,
* they may take it. They may become inebriated
with attention, like an Atlanta colonel listening to
" Marching Through Georgia," or they will get ex-
cited and transpose the key of the music with an axe
and yourselves into a dungeon. In the latter case,'
says the consul, * I'll do my duty by cabling to the
State Department, and I'll wrap the Stars and Stripes
around you when you come to be shot, and threaten
them with the vengeance of the greatest gold export
and financial reserve nation on earth. The flag is
full of bullet holes now,' says the consul, ' made in
98 Cabbages and Kings
that way. Twice before,' says the consul, * I have
cabled our government for a couple of gunboats to
protect American citizens. The first time the De-
partment sent me a pair of gum boots. The other
time was when a man named Pease was going to be
executed here. They referred that appeal to the
Secretary of Agriculture. Let us now disturb the
senor behind the bar for a subsequence of the red
" Thus soliloquized the consul of Solitas to me
and Henry HorsecoUar.
** But, notwithstanding, we hired a room thai
afternoon in the Calle de los Angeles, the main street
that runs along the shore, and put our trunks there.
'Twas a good-sized room, dark and cheerful, but
small. 'Twas on a various street, diversified by
houses and conservatory plants. The peasantry of
the city passed to and fro on the fine pasturage be-
tween the sidewalks. 'Twas, for the world, like an
opera chorus when the Royal Kafoozlum is about to
" We were rubbing the dust off the machine and
getting fixed to start business the next day, when a
big, fine-looking white man in white clothes stopped
at the door and looked in. We extended the invita-
tions, and he walked inside and sized us up. He
The Phonograph and the Graft 99
was chewing a long cigar, and wrinkling his eyes,
meditative, like a girl trying to decide which dress
to wear to the party.
"* New York? ' he says to me finally.
" * Originally, and from time to time,* I says.
* Hasn't it rubbed off yet? '
" * It's simple,' says he, * when you know how.
It's the fit of the vest. They don't cut vests right
anywhere else. Coats, maybe, but not vests.'
" The white man looks at Henry Horsecollar and
"'Injun,' says Henry; * tame Injun.'
" ' Mellinger,' says the man — * Homer P. Mel-
linger. Boys, you're confiscated. You're babes in
the wood without a chaperon or referee, and it's my
duty to start you going. I'll knock out the props
and launch you proper in the pellucid waters of this
tropical mud puddle. You'll have to be christened,
and if you'll come with me I'll break a bottle of wine
across your bows, according to Hoyle.'
"Well, for two days Homer P. Mellinger did the
honors. That man cut ice in Anchuria. He was
It. He was the Royal Kafoozlum. If me and
Henry was babes in the wood, he was a Robin Red-
breast from the topmost bough. Him and me and
H<»nry Horsecollar locked arms, and toted that
100 Cabbages and Kings
phonograph around, and had wassail and diversions.
Everywhere we found doors open we went inside
and set the machine going, and Mellinger called
upon the people to observe the artful music and his
two lifelong friends, the Seiiors Americanos. The
opera chorus was agitated with esteem, and followed*
us from house to house. There was a different kind
of drink to be had with every tune. The natives
had acquirements of a pleasant think in the way of
a drink that gums itself to the recollection. They
chop off the end of a green cocoanut, and pour in on
the juice of it French brandy and other adjuvants.
We had them and other things.
" Mine and Henry's money was counterfeit.
Everything was on Homer P. Mellinger. That
man could find rolls of bills concealed in places
on his person where Hermann the Wizard couldn't
have conjured out a rabbit or an omelette. He
could have founded universities, and made orchid
collections, and then had enough left to purchase
the colored vote of his country. Henry and me
wondered what his graft was. One evening he told
" ' Boys,' said he, * I've deceived you. You think
I'm a painted butterfly; but in fact I'm the hardest
worked man in this country. Ten years ago I
The Phonograph and the Graft 101
landed on its shores ; and two years ago on the point
of its jaw. Yes, I guess I can get the decision over
this ginger cake commonwealth at the end of any
round I choose. I'll confide in you because you are
my countrymen and guests, even if you have as-
saulted my adopted shores with the worst system of
noises ever set to music.
" * My job is private secretary to the president of
this republic; and my duties are running it. I'm not
headlined in the bills, but I'm the mustard in the
salad dressing just the same. There isn't a law
goes before Congress, there isn't a concession
granted, there isn't an import duty levied but what
H. P. Mellinger he cooks and seasons it. In the
front oflSce I fill the president's inkstand and search
visiting statesmen for dirks and dynamite ; but in the
back room I dictate the policy of the government.
You'd never guess in the world how I got my pull.
It's the only graft of its kind on earth. I'll put you
wise. You remember the old top-liner in the copy
book —" Honesty is the Best Policy?" That's it.
I'm working honesty for a graft. I'm the only hon-
est man in the republic. The government knows it;
the people know it; the boodlers know it; the for-
eign investors know it. I make the government keep
its faitbf If a man is promised a job he gets it. If
102 Cabbages and Kings
outside capital buys a concession it gets the goods.
I run a monopoly of square dealing here. There's
no competition. If Colonel Diogenes were to flash
his lantern in this precinct he'd have my address in-
side of two minutes. There isn't big money in it,
but it's a sure thing, and le^s a man sleep of nights.'
" Thus Homer P. Mellinger made oration to me
and Henry HorsecoUar. And, later, he divested
himself of this remark:
" * Boys, I'm to hold a soiree this evening with a
gang of leading citizens, and I want your assistance.
You bring the musical com sheller and give the affair
the outside appearance of a function. There's im-
portant business on hand, but it mustn't show. I
can talk to you people. I've been pained for years
on account of not having anybody to blow off and
brag to. I get homesick sometimes, and I'd swap
the entire perquisites of office for just one hour to
have a stein and a caviare sandwich somewhere on
Thirty-fourth Street, and stand and watch the
street cars go by, and smell the peanut roaster at
old Giuseppe's fruit stand.'
" * Yes,' said I, * there's fine caviare at Billy Ren-
frow'3 cafe, comer of Thirty-fourth and — '
" * God knows it,' interrupts Mellinger, * and if
you'd told me you knew Billy Renfrow I'd have in-
The Phonograph and the Graft 103
vented tons of ways of making you happy. Billy
was my side-kicker in New York. There Is a man
who never knew what crooked was. Here I am work-
ing Honesty for a graft, but that man loses money
on it. Carrambos! I get sick at times of this coun-
try. Everything's rotten. From the executive
down to the coffee pickers, they're plotting to down
each other and skin their friends. If a mule driver
takes off his hat to an oflScIal, that man figures It out
that he's a popular Idol, and sets his pegs to stir up
a revolution and upset the administration. It's one
of my little chores as private secretary to smell out
these revolutions and affix the kibosh before they
break out and scratch the paint off the government
property. That's why I'm down here now In this
mildewed coast town. The governor of the district and
his crew are plotting to uprise. I've got every one
of their names, and they're invited to listen to the
phonograph to-night, compliments of H. P. M.
That's the way I'll get them In a bunch, and things
are on the programme to happen to them.'
" We three were sitting at table In the cantlna of
the Purified Saints. Melllnger poured out wine,
and was looking some worried ; I was thinking.
" * They're a sharp crowd,' he says, kind of fret-
ful. * They're capitalized by a foreign syndicate
104 Cabbages and Kings
after rubber, and they're loaded to the muzzle for
bribing. I'm sick,' goes on Mellinger, * of comic
opera. I want to smell East River and wear sus-
penders again. At times I feel like throwing up my
job, but I'm d — n fool enough to be sort of proud of
it. " There's Mellinger," they say here. " Por
Diosl you can't touch him with a million." I'd like
to take that record back and show it to Billy Ren-
frow some day; and that tightens my grip whenever
I see a fat thing that I could corral just by winking
one eye — and losing my graft. By — , they
can't monkey with me. They know it. What
money I get I make honest and spend it. Some day
I'll make a pile and go back' and eat caviare with
Billy. To-night I'll show you how to handle a
bunch of corruptionists. I'll show them what Mel-
linger, private secretary, means when you spell it
with the cotton and tissue paper off.'
" Mellinger appears shaky, and breaks his glass
against the neck of the bottle.
" I says to myself, * White man, if I'm not mis-
taken there's been a bait laid out where the tail of
your eye could see it.'
" That night, according to arrangements, me and
Henry took the phonograph to a room in a 'dobe
house in a dirty side street, where the grass was knee
The Phonograph and the Graft 105
high. 'Twas a long room, lit with smoky oil lamps.
There was plenty of chairs, and a table at the back
end. We set the phonograph on the table. Mel-
linger was there, walking up and down, disturbed in
his predicaments. He chewed cigars and spat 'em
out, and he bit the thumb nail of his left hand.
" By and by the invitations to the musicale came
sliding in by pairs and threes and spade flushes.
Their colour was of a diversity, running from a
three-days' smoked meerschaum to a patent-leather
polish. They were as polite as wax, being devas-
tated with enjoyments to give Senor Mellinger the
good evenings. I understood their Spanish talk —
I ran a pumping engine two years in a Mexican silver
mine, and had it pat — but I never let on.
" Maybe fifty of 'em had come, and was seated,
when in slid the king bee, the governor of the dis-
trict. Mellinger met him at the door, and escorted
him to the grand stand. When I saw that Latin
man I knew that Mellinger, private secretary, had all
the dances on his card taken. That was a big,
squashy man, the colour of a rubber overshoe, and
he had an eye like a head waiter's.
" Mellinger explained, fluent, in the Castilian
idioms, that his soul was disconcerted with joy at
introducing to his respected friends America's great-
106 Cabbages and Kings
est invention, the wonder of the age. Henry got the
cue and run on an elegant brass-band record and
the festivities became initiated. The governor man
had a bit of English under his hat, and when the
music was choked off he says:
" * Ver-r-ree fine. Gr-r-r-r-racias, the American
gentleemen, the so esplendeed moosic as to playee.'
" The table was a long one, and Henry and me sat
at the end of it next the wall. The governor sat at
the other end. Homer P. Mellinger stood at the
side of it. I was just wondering how Mellinger was
going to handle his crowd, when the home talent
suddenly opened the services.
" That governor man was suitable for uprisings
and policies. I judge he was a ready kind of man,
who took his own time. Yes, he was full of atten-
tion and immediateness. He leaned his hands on
the table and imposed his face toward the secretary
" * Do the American senors understand Spanish? '
he asks in his native accents.
* They do not,' says Mellinger.
Then listen,' goes on the Latin man, prompt.
* The musics are of sufficient prettiness, but not of
necessity. Let us speak of business. I well know
why we are here, since I observe my compatriots.
The Phonograph and the Graft 107
You had a whisper yesterday, Seiior Mellinger, of
our proposals. To-night we will speak out. We
know that you stand in the president's favour, and
we know your influence. The government will be
changed. We know the worth of your services. We
esteem your friendship and aid so much that ' —
Mellinger raises his hand, but the governor man bot-
tles him up. * Do not speak until I have done.'
" The governor man then draws a package
wrapped in paper from his pocket, and lays it on the
table by Mellinger's hand.
" * In that you will find fifty thousand dollars in
money of your country. You can do nothing against
us, but you can be worth that for us. Go back to
the capital and obey our instructions. Take that
money now. We trust you. You will find with it
a paper giving in detail the work you will be ex-
pected to do for us. Do not have the unwiseness to
" The governor man paused, with his eyes fixed
on Mellinger, full of expressions and observances. I
looked at Mellinger, and was glad Billy Renfrow
couldn't see him then. The sweat was popping out
on his forehead, and he stood dumb, tapping the lit-
tle package with the ends of his fingers. The colo-
rado-maduro gang was after his graft. He had only
108 Cabbages and Kings
to change his politics, and stuff five iSngers in his in-
** Henry whispers to me and wants the pause in
the programme interpreted. I whisper back : * H.
P. is up against a bribe, senator's size, and the
coons have got him going.' I saw Mellinger's hand
moving closer to the package. * He's weakening,' I
whispered to Henry. * We'll remind him,' says
Henry, * of the peanut-roaster on Thirty-fourth
Street, New York.'
" Henry stooped down and got a record from the
basketful we'd brought, slid it in the phonograph,
and started her off. It was a cornet solo, very neat
and beautiful, and the name of it was * Home, Sweet
Home.' Not one of them fifty odd men in the room
*noved while it was playing, and the governor man
kept his eyes steady on Mellinger. I saw Mellinger's
head go up little by little, and his hand came creep-
ing away from the package. Not until the last note
sounded did anybody stir. And then Homer P. Mel-
linger takes up the bundle of boodle and slams it in
the governor man's face.
" * That's my answer,' says Mellinger, private sec-
retary, * and there'll be another in the morning. I
have proofs of conspiracy against every man of you.
The show is over, gentlemen.'
The Phonograph and the Graft 109
*^ * There's one more act,' puts in the governor
man. * You are a servant, I believe, employed by
the president to copy letters and answer raps at the
door. I am governor here. Senores, I call upon
you in the name of the cause to seize this man.'
" That brindled gang of conspirators shoved back
their chairs and advanced in force. I could see
where Mellinger had made a mistake m massing his
enemy so as to make a grand-stand play. I think he
made another one, too; but we can pass that, Mel-
Jinger's idea of a graft and mine being different, ac-
cording to estimations and points of view.
" There was only one window and door in that
room, and they were in the front end. Here was
fifty odd Latin men coming in a bunch to obstruct
the legislation of Mellinger. You may say there
were three of us, for me and Henry, simultaneous,
declared New York City and the Cherokee Nation in
sympathy with the weaker party.
" Then it was that Henry Horsecollar rose to a
point of disorder and intervened, showing, admirable,
the advantages of education as applied to the Ameri-
can Indian's natural intellect and native refinement.
He stood up and smoothed back his hair on each side
with his hands as you have seen little girls do when
110 Cabbages and Kings
" * Get behind me, both of you,' says Henry.
" * What's it to be, chief? ' I asked.
*' ' I'm going to buck centre,' says Henry, in his
football idioms. * There isn't a tackle in the lot of
them. Follow me close, and rush the game.'
" Then that cultured Red Man exhaled an ar-
rangement of sounds with his mouth that made the
Latin aggregation pause, with thoughtfulness and
hesitations. The matter of his proclamation seemed
to be a co-operation of the Carlisle war-whoop with
the Cherokee college yell. He went at the chocolate
team like a bean out of a little boy's nigger shooter.
His right elbow laid out the governor man on the
gridiron, and he made a lane the length of the crowd
so wide that a woman could have carried a step-lad-
der through it without striking against anything.
All Mellinger and me had to do was to follow.
" It took us just three minutes to get out of that
street around to military headquarters, where Mel-
linger had things his own way. A colonel and a
battalion of bare-toed infantry turned out and went
back to the scene of the musicale with us, but the
conspirator gang was gone. But we recaptured the
phonograph with honours of war, and marched back
to the cuartel with it playing * All Coons Look Alike
The Phonograph and the Graft 111
" The next day Mellinger takes me and Henry to
one side, and begins to shed tens and twenties.
" * I want to buy that phonograph,' says he. * I
liked that last tune it played at the soiree.*
" * This is more money than the machine is worth,'
" * 'Tis government expense money,' says Mel-
linger. * The government pays for it, and it's get-
ting the tune-grinder cheap.'
" Me and Henry knew that pretty well. We knew
that it had saved Homer P. MelHnger's graft when
he was on the point of losing it ; but we never let him
know we knew it.
" * Now you boys better slide off further down the
coast for a while,' says Mellinger, * till I get the
screws put on these fellows here. If you don't they'll
give you trouble. And if you ever happen to see
Billy Renfrow again before I do, tell him I'm coming
back to New York as soon as I can make a stake —
" Me and Henry laid low until the day the steamer
came back. When we saw the captain's boat on the
beach we went down and stood in the edge of the
water. The captain grinned when he saw us.
" * I told you you'd be waiting,' he says. ' Where's
the Hamburger machine.'^ '
112 Cabbages and Kings
" * It stays behind,' I says, * to play " Home, ^
Sweet Home." '
'* * I told you so,' says the captain again. * Climb
in the boat.'
" And that," said Keogh, " Is the way me and
Henry HorsecoUar Introduced the phonograph into
this country. Henry went back to the States, but
I've been rummaging around In the tropics ever since.
They say Melllnger never travelled a mile after that
without his phonograph. I guess It kept him re-
minded about his graft whenever he saw the siren
voice of the boodler tip him the wink with a bribe in
" I suppose he's taking It home with him as a
souvenir," remarked the consul.
" Not as a souvenir," said Keogh. " He'll need
two 6t 'em in New York, running day and night."
1 HE new administration of Anchuria entered
upon its duties and privileges with enthusiasm. Its
first act was to send an agent to Coralio with imper-
ative orders to recover, if possible, the sum of money
ravished from the treasury by the ill-fated Miraflores.
Colonel Emilio Falcon, the private secretary of
Losada, the new president, was despatched from the
capital upon this important mission.
The position of private secretary to a tropical
president is a responsible one. He must be a dip-
plomat, a spy, a ruler of men, a body-guard to his
chief, and a smeller-out of plots and nascent revo-
lutions. Often he is the power behind the throne,
the dictator of policy; and a president chooses him
with a dozen times the care with which he selects a
Colonel Falcon, a handsome and urbane gentle-
man of Castilian courtesy and debonnaire manners,
came to Coralio with the task before him of striking
114 Cabbages and Kings
upon the cold trail of the lost money. There he con-
ferred with the military authorities, who had received
instructions to co-operate with him in the search.
Colonel Falcon established his headquarters in one
of the rooms of the Casa Morena. Here for a week
he held informal sittings — much as if he were a
kind of. unified grand jury — and summoned before
him^ all those whose testimony might illumine the
financial tragedy that had accompanied the less mo-
mentous one of the late president's death.
Two or three who were thus examined, among
whom was the barber Esteban, declared that they
had identified the body of the president before its
" Of a truth," testified Esteban before the mighty
secretary, " it was he, the president. Consider ! —
how could I shave a man and not see his face? He
sent for me to shave him in a small house. He had a
beard very black and thick. Had I ever seen the
president before? Why not? I saw him once ride
forth in a carriage from the vapor in Solitas. When
I shaved him he gave me a gold piece, and said there
was to be no talk. But I am a Liberal — I am de-
voted to my country — and I spake of these things
to Seiior Goodwin."
" It is known," said Colonel Falcon, smoothly.
Money Maze 115
" that the late President took with him an American .
leather valise, containing a large amount of money.
Did you see that ? "
" De veras — no," Esteban answered. " The
light in the little house was but a small lamp by
which I could scarcely see to shave the President.
Such a thing there may have been, but I did not see
it. No. Also in the room was a young lady — a
seiiorita of much beauty — that I could see even in
so small a light. But the money, senor, or the thing
in which it was carried — that I did not see."
The comandante and other officers gave testi-
mony that they had been awakened and alarmed by
the noise of a pistol-shot in the Hotel de los Es-
tranjeros. Hurrying thither to protect the peace
and dignity of the republic, they found a man lying
dead, with a pistol clutched in his hand. Beside
him was a young woman, weeping sorely. Senor
Goodwin was also in the room when they entered it.
But of the valise of money they saw nothing.
Madame Timotea Ortiz, the proprietress of the
hotel in which the game of Fox-in-the-Moming had
been played out, told of the coming of the two guests
to her house.
** To my house they came," said she — " one senor,
not quite old, and one senorita of sufficient handsome-
116 Cabbages and Kings
ness. They desired not to eat or to drink — not
even of my aguardiente, which is the best. To their
rooms they ascended — Numero Nueve and Numero
Diez. Later came Senor Goodwin, who ascended to
speak with them. Then I heard a great noise like
that of a canon, and they said that the pobre Presi-
dente had shot himself. Estd hueno. I saw noth-
ing of money or of the thing you call veliz that you
say he carried it in."
Colonel Falcon soon came to the reasonable con-
clusion that if anyone in Coralio could furnish a clue
to the vanished money, Frank Goodwin must be the
man. But the wise secretary pursued a different
course in seeking information from the American.
Goodwin was a powerful friend to the new adminis-
tration, and one who was not to be carelessly dealt
with in respect to either his honesty or his courage.
Even the private secretary of His Excellency hesi-
tated to have this rubber prince and mahogany baron
haled before him as a common citizen of Anchuria.
So he sent Goodwin a flowery epistle, each word-petal
dripping with honey, requesting the favour of an in-
terview. Groodwin replied with an invitation to din-
ner at his own house.
Before the hour named the American walked over
to the Casa Morena, and greeted his guest frankly
Money Maze 117
and friendly. Then the two strolled, in the cool
of the afternoon, to Goodwin's home m the envi-
The American left Colonel Falcon in a big, cool,
shadowed room with a floor of inlaid and polished
woods that any millionaire in the States would have
envied, excusing himself for a few minutes. He
crossed a patiOj shaded with deftly arranged awn-
ings and plants, and entered a long room looking
upon the sea in the opposite wing of the house. The
broad jalousies were opened wide, and the ocean
breeze flowed in through the room, an invisible cur-
rent of coolness and health. Goodwin's wife sat near
one of the windows, making a water-color sketch of
the afternoon seascape.
Here was a woman who looked to be happy. And
more — she looked to be content. Had a poet been
inspired to pen just similes concerning her favour, he
would have likened her full, clear eyes, with their
white-encircled, gray irises, to moonflowcrs. With
none of the goddesses whose traditional charms have
become coldly classic would the discerning rhyme-
ster have compared her. She was purely Paradisaic,
not Olympian. If you can imagine Eve, after the
eviction, beguiling the flaming warriors and serenely
re-entering the Garden, you will have her. Just so
118 Cabbages and Kings
human, and still so harmonious with Eden seemed
When her husband entered she looked up, and her
lips curved and parted ; her eyelids fluttered twice or
thrice— ^ a movement remindful (Poesy forgive us!)
of the tail-wagging of a faithful dog — and a little
ripple went through her like the commotion set up in
a weeping willow by a puff of wind. Thus she ever
acknowledged his coming, were it twenty times a
day. If they who sometimes sat over their wine in
Coralio, reshaping old, diverting stories of the mad-
cap career of Isabel Guilbert, could have seen the
wife of Frank Goodwin that afternoon in the estima-
ble aura of her happy wifehood, they might have dis-
believed, or have agreed to forget, those graphic
annals of the life of the one for whom their president
gave up his country and his honour.
" I have brought a guest to dinner," said Goodwin.
'* One Colonel Falcon, from San Mateo. He is come
on government business. I do not think you will
care to see him, so I prescribe for you one of those
convenient and indisputable feminine headaches."
" He has come to inquire about the lost money, has
he not?" asked Mrs. Goodwin, going on with her
" A good guess ! " acknowledged Goodwin. " He
Money Maze 119
has been holding an inquisition among the natives
for three days. I am next on his list of witnesses,
but as he feels shy about dragging one of Uncle
Sam's subjects before him, he consents to give it the
outward appearance of a social function. He will
apply the torture over my own wine and provender."
*' Has he found anyone who saw the valise of
money ? "
*' Not a soul. Even Madama Ortiz, whose eyes
are so sharp for the sight of a revenue official, does
not remember that there was any baggage."
Mrs. Goodwin laid down her brush and sighed.
*' I am so sorry, Frank," she said, " that they are
giving you so much trouble about the money. But
we can't let them know about it, can we?"
*' Not without doing our intelligence a great in-
justice," said Goodwin, with a smile and a shrug that
he had picked up from the natives. " Americano ^
though I am, they would have me in the calahoza in
half an hour if they kne«v we had appropriated that
valise. No; we must appear as ignorant about the
money as the other ignoramuses in Coralio."
" Do you think that this man they have sent sus-
pects you ? " she asked, with a little pucker of her
" He'd better not," said the American, carelessly.
120 Cabbages and Kings
" It's lucky that no one caught a sight of the valise
except myself. As I was in the rooms when the shot
was fired, it is not surprising that they should want
to investigate my part in the affair rather closely.
But there's no cause for alarm. This colonel is
down on the list of events for a good dinner, with a
dessert of American * bluff ' that will end the mat-
ter, I think."
Mrs. Goodwin rose and walked to the window.
Goodwin followed and stood by her side. She leaned
to him, and rested in the protection of his strength,
as she had always rested since that dark night on
which he had first made himself her tower of refuge.
Thus they stood for a little while.
Straight through the lavish growth of tropical
branch and leaf and vine that confronted them had
been cunningly trimmed a vista, that ended at the
cleared environs of Coralio, on the banks of the man-
grove swamp. At the other end of the aerial tunnel
they could see the grave and wooden headpiece that
bore the name of the unhappy President Miraflores.
From this window when the rains forbade the open,
and from the green and shady slopes of Goodwin's
fruitful lands when the skies were smiling, his wife
was wont to look upon that grave with a gentle sad-
ness that was now scarcely a mar to her happiness.
Money Maze 121
" I loved him so, Frank ! " she said, " even after
that terrible flight and its awful ending. And you
have been so good to me, and have made me so happy.
It has all grown into such a strange puzzle. If they
were to find out that we got the money do you think
they would force you to make the amount good to the
" They would undoubtedly try," answered Good-
ma, " You are right about its being a puzzle. And
It must remain a puzzle to Falcon and all his coun-
trymen until it solves Itself. You and I, who know
more than anyone else, only know half of the solu-
tion. We must not let even a hint about this money
get abroad. Let them come to the theory that the
president concealed it in the mountains during his
journey; or that he found means to ship it out of the
country before he reached Coralio. I don't think
that Falcon suspects me. He is making a close in-
vestigation, according to his orders, but he will find
Thus they spake together. Had anyone over-
heard or overseen them as they discussed the lost
funds of Anchuria there would have been a second
puzzle presented. For upon the faces and in the
bearing of each of them was visible (if countenances
are to be believed) Saxon honesty and pride and
122 Cabbages and Kings
honourable thoughts. In Goodwin's steady eye and
firm lineaments, moulded Into material shape by the
inward spirit of kindness and generosity and courage,
there was nothing reconcilable with his words.
As for his wife, physiognomy championed her
even in the face of their accusive talk. Nobility was
in her guise; purity was in her glance. The devo-
tion that she manifested had not even the appear-
ance of that feeling that now and then inspires a
woman to share the guilt of her partner out of the
pathetic greatness of her love. No, there was a dis-
crepancy here between what the eye would have seen
and the ear have heard.
Dinner was served to Goodwin and his guest in the
patio, under cool foliage and flowers. The Ameri-
can begged the illustrious secretary to excuse the ab-
sence of Mrs. Goodwin, who was suffering, he said,
from a headache brought on by a slight calentura.
After the meal they lingered, according to the cus-
tom, over their coffee and cigars. Colonel Falcon,
with true Castilian delicacy, waited for his host to
open the question that they had met to discuss. He
hiftd not long to wait. As soon as the cigars were
lighted, the American cleared the way by inquiring
whether the secretary's investigations in the town had
furnished him with any clue to the lost funds.
Money Maze 123
" I have found no one yet," admitted Colonel Fal-
con, " who even had sight of the valise or the money.
Yet I have persisted. It has been proven in the cap-
ital that President Miraflores set out from San
Mateo with one hundred thousand dollars belonging
to the government, accompanied by Senorita Isabel
Guilbert, the opera singer. The Government, offi-
cially and personally, is loathe to believe," con-
cluded Colonel Falcon, with a smile, " that our late
President's tastes would have permitted him to aban-
don on the route, as excess baggage, either of the de-
sirable articles with which his flight was burdened."
" I suppose you would like to hear what I have to
say about the affair," said Goodwin, coming directly
to the point. " It will not require many words.
" On that night, with others of our friends here, I
was keeping a lookout for the president, having been
notified of his flight by a telegram in our national
cipher from Englehart, one of our leaders in the cap-
ital. About ten o'clock that night I saw a man and
a woman hurrying along the streets. They went to
the Hotel de los Estranjeros, and engaged rooms.
I followed them upstairs, leaving Esteban, who had
come up, to watch outside. The barber had told me
that he had shaved the beard from the president's
face that night; therefore I was prepared, when I
124 Cabbages and Kings
entered the rooms, to find him with a smooth face.
When I apprehended him in the name of the people
he drew a pistol and shot himself instantly. In a
few minutes many officers and citizens were on the
spot. I suppose you have been informed of the
Goodwin paused. Losada's agent maintained an
attitude of waiting, as if he expected a continuance.
" And now," went on the American, looking stead-
ily into the eyes of the other man, and giving each
word a deliberate emphasis, " you will oblige me by
attending carefully to what I have to add. I saw
no valise or receptacle of any kind, or any money be-
longing to the Republic of Anchuria. If President
Miraflores decamped with any funds belonging to
the treasury of this country, or to himself, or to any-
one else, I saw no trace of it in the house or elsewhere,
at that time or at any other. Does that statement
cover the ground of the inquiry you wished to make of
Colonel Falcon bowed, and described a fluent
curve with his cigar. His duty was performed.
Goodwin was not to be disputed. He was a loyal
supporter of the government, and enjoyed the full
confidence of the new president. His rectitude had
been the capital that had brought him fortune in An-
Money Maze 125
churia, just as it had formed the lucrative " graft "
of MelHnger, the secretary of Miraflores.
" I thank you, Sefior Goodwin," said Falcon, " for
speaking plainly. Your word will be sufficient for
the president. But, Senor Goodwin, I am instructed
to pursue every clue that presents itself in this mat-
ter. There is one that I have not yet touched upon.
Our friends in France, sefior, have a saying,
* Cherchez la femme,* when there is a mystery with-
out a clue. But here we do not have to search.
The woman who accompanied the late President in
his flight must surely — "
" I must interrupt you there," interposed Good-
win. " It is true that when I entered the hotel for
the purpose of intercepting President Miraflores I
found a lady there. I must beg of you to remember
that that lady is now my wife. I speak for her as I
do for myself. She knows nothing of the fate of the
valise or of the money that you are seeking. You
will say to his excellency that I guarantee her inno-
cence. I do not need to add to you. Colonel Falcon,
that I do not care to have her questioned or dis-
Colonel Falcon bowed again.
** Por supuesto, no ! " he cried. And to indicate
that the inquiry was ended he added : " And now,
126 Cabbages and Kings
sefioTj let me beg of you to show me that sea view
from your galena of which you spoke. I am a
lover of the sea."
In the early evening Goodwin walked back to the
town with his guest, leaving him at the corner of the
Calle Grande. As he was returning homeward one
" Beelzebub " Blythe, with the air of a courtier and
the outward aspect of a scarecrow, pounced upon him
hopefully from the door of a pulperia.
Blythe had been re-christened " Beelzebub " as an
acknowledgment of the greatness of his fall. Once
in some distant Paradise Lost, he had foregathered
with the angels of the earth. But Fate had hurled
him headlong down to the tropics, where flamed in
his bosom a fire that was seldom quenched. In
Coralio they called him a beachcomber; but he was,
in reality, a categorical idealist who strove to an-
amorphosize the dull verities of life by the means
of brandy and rum. As Beelzebub, himself, might
have held in his clutch with imwitting tenacity his
harp or crown during his tremendous fall, so his
namesake had clung to his gold-rimmed eyeglasses as
the only souvenir of his lost estate. These he wore
with impressiveness and distinction while he combed
beaches and extracted toll from his friends. By some
mysterious means he kept his drink-reddened face
Money Maze 127
always smoothly shaven. For the rest he sponged
gracefully upon whomsoever he could for enough to
keep him pretty drunk, and sheltered from the rains
and night dews.
** Hallo, Groodwin ! " called the derelict, airily. " I
was hoping I'd strike you. I wanted to see you par-
ticularly. Suppose we go where we can talk. Of
course you know there's a chap down here looking up
the money old Miraflores lost."
Yes," said Goodwin, " I've been talking with him.
Let's go into Espada's place. I can spare you ten
They went into the pulperia and sat at a little table
upon stools with rawhide tops.
** Have a drink ? " said Goodwin.
They can't bring it too quickly," said Blythe.
I've been in a drought ever since morning. Hi —
muchachof — el aguardiente por acd,'*
" Now, what do you want to see me about ? " asked
Goodwin, when the drinks were before them.
*' Confound it, old man," drawled Blythe, " why
do you spoil a golden moment like this with business?
I wanted to see you — well, this has the preference."
He gulped down his brandy, and gazed longingly into
the empty glass.
" Have another? " suggested Goodwin.
128 Cabbages and Kings
" Between gentlemen," said the fallen angel, " I
donH quite like your use of that word * another.' It
isn't quite delicate. But the concrete idea that the
word represents is not displeasing."
The glasses were refilled. Blythe sipped blissfully
from his, as he began to enter the state of a true
" I must trot along in a minute or two," hinted
Groodwin. "Was there an3rthing in particular?"
Blythe did not reply at once.
" Old Losada would make it a hot country," he re-
marked at length, " for the man who swiped that
gripsack of treasury boodle, don't you think? "
" Undoubtedly, he would," agreed Goodwin
calmly, as he rose leisurely to his feet. " I'll be run-
ning over to the house now, old man. Mrs. Good-
win is alone. There was nothing important you had
to say, was there ? "
" That's all," said Blythe. " Unless you wouldn't
mind sending in another drink from the bar as you go
out. Old Espada has closed my account to profit
and loss. And pay for the lot, will you, like a good
" All right," said Goodwin. " Buenas noches.**
** Beelzebub " Blythe lingered over his cups, pol-
Money Maze 129
ishing his eyeglasses with a disreputable handker-
" I thought I could do it, but I couldn't," he mut-
tered to himself after a time. " A gentleman can't
blackmail the man that he drinks with."
iSPILLED milk draws few tears from an Anchurian
administration. Many are its lacteal sources; and
the clocks' hands point forever to milking time.
Even the rich cream skimmed from the treasury by
the bewitched Miraflores did not cause the newly-in-
stalled patriots to waste time in unprofitable regrets.
The government philosophically set about supplying
the deficiency by increasing the import duties and by
" suggesting " to wealthy private citizens that con-
tributions according to their means would be con-
sidered patriotic and in order. Prosperity was
expected to attend the reign of Losada, the new
president. The ousted office-holders and military
favourites organized a new " Liberal " party, and
began to lay their plans for a re-succession. Thus
the game of Anchurian politics began, like a Chinese
comedy, to unwind slowly its serial length. Here
and there Mirth peeps for an instant from the wings
and illumines the florid lines.
The Admiral 181
A dozen quarts of champagne in conjunction with
an informal sitting of the president and his cabinet
led to the establishment of the navy and the appoint-
ment of Felipe Carrera as its admiral.
Next to the champagne the credit of the appoint-
ment belongs to Don Sabas Placido, the newly con-
firmed Minister of War.
The president had requested a convention of his
cabinet for the discussion of questions politic and
for the transaction of certain routine matters of
state. The session had been signally tedious; the
business and the wine prodigiously dry. A sudden,
prankish humour of Don Sabas, impelling him to the
deed, spiced the grave affairs of state with a whiff of
In the dilatory order of business had come a bulle-
tin from the coast department of Orilla del Mar
reporting the seizure by the custom-house officers
at the town of Coralio of the sloop Estrella del Noche
and her cargo of drygoods, patent medicines, granu-
lated sugar and three-star brandy. Also six Martini
rifles and a barrel of American whisky. Caught in
the act of smuggling, the sloop with its cargo was
now, according to law, the property of the republic.
The Collector of Customs, in making his report,
departed from the conventional forms so far as to
182 Cabbages and Kings
suggest that the confiscated vessel be converted to
the use of the government. The prize was the first
capture to the credit of the department in ten years.
The collector took opportunity to pat his depart-
ment on the back«
It often happened that government ofiScers re-
quired transportation from point to point along the
coast, and means were usually lacking. Further-
more, the sloop could be manned by a loyal crew
and employed as a coast guard to discourage the per-
nicious art of smuggling. The collector also ven-
tured to nominate one to whom the charge of the
boat could be safely intrusted — a young man of
Coralio, Felipe Carrera — not, be it understood, one
of extreme wisdom, but loyal and the best sailor
along the coast.
It was upon this hint that the Minister of War
acted, executing a rare piece of drollery that so en-
livened the tedium of executive session.
In the constitution of this small, maritime banana
republic was a forgotten section that provided for
the maintenance of a navy. This provision — with
many other wiser ones — had lain inert since the
establishment of the republic. Anchuria had no
navy and had no use for one. It was characteristic
of Don Sabas — a man at once merry, learned.
The Admiral 183
whimsical and audacious — that he should have dis-
turbed the dust of this musty and sleeping statute
to increase the humour of the world by so much as a
smile from his indulgent colleagues.
With delightful mock seriousness the Minister of
War proposed the creation of a navy. He argued
its need and the glories it might achieve with such
gay and witty zeal that the travesty overcame with
its humour even the swart dignity of President
The champagne was bubbling trickily in the veins
of the mercurial statesmen. It was not the custom
of the grave governors of Anchuria to enliven their
sessions with a beverage so apt to cast a veil of dis-
paragement over sober affairs. The wine had been
a thoughtful compliment tendered by the agent of
the Vesuvius Fruit Company as a token of amicable
relations — and certain consummated deals — be-
tween that company and the republic of Anchuria.
The jest was carried to its end. A formidable,
official document was prepared, encrusted with chro-
matic seals and jaunty with fluttering ribbons, bear-
ing the florid signatures of state. This commission
conferred upon el Seiior Don Felipe Carrera the title
of Flag Admiral of the Republic of Anchuria. Thus
within the space of a few minutes and the dominion
134 Cabbages and Kings
of a dozen " extra dry," the country took its place
among the naval powers of the world, and Felipe
Carrera became entitled to a salute of nineteen guns
whenever he might enter port.
The southern races are lacking in that particular
kind of humour that finds entertainment in the de-
fects and misfortunes bestowed by Nature. Owing
to this defect in their constitution they are not moved
to laughter (as are their northern brothers) by the
spectacle of the deformed, the feeble-minded or the
Felipe Carrera was sent upon earth with but half
his wits. Therefore, the people of Coralio called him
" El pobrecito loco " — " the poor little crazed one "
— saying that God had sent but half of him to earth,
retaining the other half.
A sombre youth, glowering, and speaking only at
the rarest times, Felipe was but negatively " loco."
On shore he generally refused all conversation. He
seemed to know that he was badly handicapped on
land, where so many kinds of understanding are
needed ; but on the water his one talent set him equal
with most men. Few sailors whom God had care-
fully and completely made could handle a sailboat as
well. Five points nearer the wind than the best of
them he could sail his sloop. When the elements
The Admiral 135
raged and set other men to cowering, the deficiencies
of FeKpe seemed of little importance. He was a
perfect sailor, if an imperfect man. He owned no
boat, but worked among the crews of the schooners
and sloops that skimmed the coast, trading and
freighting fruit out to the steamers where there was
no harbour. It was through his famous skill and
boldness on the sea, as well as for the pity felt for his
mental imperfections, that he was recommended by
the collector as a suitable custodian of the captured
When the outcome of Don Sabas' little pleasantry
arrived in the form of the imposing and preposterous
commission, the collector smiled. He had not ex-
pected such prompt and overwhelming response to
his recommendation. He despatched a muchacho at
once to fetch the future admiral.
The collector waited in his official quarters. His
office was in the Calle Grande, and the sea breezes
hummed through its windows all day. The col-
lector, in white linen and canvas shoes, philandered
With papers on an antique desk. A parrot, perched
on a pen rack, seasoned the official tedium with a fire
of choice Castilian imprecations. Two rooms opened
into the collector's. In one the clerical force of
young men of variegated complexions transacted
186 Cabbages and Kings
with glitter and parade their several duties.
Through the open door of the other room could be
seen a bronze babe, guiltless of clothing, that rol-
licked upon the floor. In a grass hammock a thin
woman, tinted a pale lemon, played a guitar and
swung contentedly in the breeze. Thus surrounded
by the routine of his high duties and the visible
tokens of agreeable domesticity, the collector's heart
was further made happy by the power placed in his
hands to brighten the fortunes of the " innocent "
Felipe came and stood before the collector. He
was a lad of twenty, not ill-favoured in looks, but
with an expression of distant and pondering vacuity.
He wore white cotton trousers, down the seams of
which he had sewed red stripes with some vague aim
at military decoration. A flimsy blue shirt fell open
at his throat ; his feet were bare ; he held in his hand
the cheapest of straw hats from the States.
" Seiior Carrera," said the collector, gravely, pro-
ducing the showy commission, " I have sent for you
at the president's bidding. This document that I
present to you confers upon you the title of Admiral
of this great republic, and gives you absolute com-
mand of the naval forces and fleet of our country.
You may think, friend Felipe, that we have no navy
The Admiral 137
— but yes ! The sloop the Estrella del Noche, that
my brave men captured from the coast smugglers,
is to be placed under your command. The boat is
to be devoted to the services of your country. You
will be ready at all times to convey officials of the
government to points along the coast where they may
be obliged to visit. You will also act as a coast-
guard to prevent, as far as you may be able, the
crime of smuggling. You will uphold the honour
and prestige of your country at sea, and endeavour
to place Anchuria among the proudest naval power?
of the world. These are your instructions as the
Minister of War desires me to convey them to you.
For Diosl I do not know how all this is to be ac-
complished, for not one word did his letter contain
in respect to a crew or to the expenses of this navy.
Perhaps you are to provide a crew yourself, Seiior
Admiral — I do not know — but it is a very high
honour that has descended upon you. I now hand
you your commission. When you are ready for the
boat I will give orders that she shall be made over
Into your charge. That is as far as my instructions
Felipe took the commission that the collector
handed to him. He gazed through the open window
at the sea for a moment, with his customary expres-
188 Cabbages and Kings
slon of deep but vain pondering. Then he turned
without havipg spoken a word, and walked swiftly
away through the hot sand of the street.
** Pobrecito loco! '* sighed the collector ; and the
parrot on the pen racks screeched " Loco ! — loco ! —
loco ! "
The next morning a strange procession filed
through the streets to the collector's office. At its
head was the admiral of the navy. Somewhere
Felipe had raked together a pitiful semblance of a
military uniform — a pair of red trousers, a dingy
blue short jacket heavily ornamented with gold braid,
and an old fatigue cap that must have been cast
away by one of the British soldiers in Belize and
brought away by Felipe on one of his coasting voy-
ages. Buckled around his waist was an ancient
ship's cutlass contributed to his equipment by Pedro
Lafitte, the baker, who proudly asserted its inheri-
tance from his ancestor, the illustrious buccaneer.
At the admiral's heels tagged his newly-shipped
crew — three grinning, glossy, black Caribs, bare to
the waist, the sand spurting in showers from the
Spring of their naked feet.
Briefly and with dignity Felipe demanded his
vessel of the collector. And now a fresh honour
awaited him. The collector's wife, who played the
The Admiral 189
guitar and read novels in the hammock all day, had
more than a little romance in her placid, yellow
bosom. She had found in an old book an engraving
of a flag that purported to be the naval flag of An-
churia. Perhaps it had so been designed by the
founders of the nation; but, as no navy had ever
been established, oblivion had claimed the flag.
Laboriously with her own hands she had made a flag
after the pattern — a red cross upon a blue-and-
white ground. She presented it to Felipe with these
words : " Brave sailor, this flag is of your country.
Be true, and defend it with your life. Go you with
For the first time since his appointment the ad-
miral showed a flicker of emotion. He took the
silken emblem, and passed his hand reverently over
its surface. " I am the admiral," he said to the col-
lector's lady. Being on land he could bring himself
to no more exuberant expression of sentiment. At
sea with the flag at the masthead of his navy, some
more eloquent exposition of feelings might be forth-
Abruptly the admiral departed with his crew.
For the next three days they were busy giving the
Estrella del Noche a new coat of white paint trimmed
with blue. And th^n Felipe further adorned him-
140 Cabbages and Kings
self by fastening a handful of brilliant parrot's
plumes in his cap. Again he tramped with his faith-
ful crew to the collector's office and formally notified
Kim that the sloop's name had been changed to El
During the next few months the navy had its
troubles. Even an admiral is perplexed to know
what to do without any orders. But none came.
Neither did any salaries. El Nacional swung idly
When Felipe's little store of money was exhausted
he went to the collector and raised the question of
" Salaries ! " exclaimed the collector, with hands
raised; " VcHgame Dios! not one centavo of my own
pay have I received for the last seven months. The
pay of an admiral, do you ask? Quien sabef Should
it be less than three thousand pesos? Mir a! you
will see a revolution in this country very soon. A
good sign of it is when the government calls all the
time for pesos^ pesoSy pesos, and pays none out."
Felipe left the collector's office with a look almost
of content on his sombre face. A revolution would
mean fighting, and then the government would need
his services. It was rather humiliating to be an ad-
miral without anything to do, and have a himgry
The Admiral 141
crew at your heels begging for reales to buy plan-
tains and tobacco with.
When he returned to where his happy-go-lucky
Caribs were waiting they sprang up and saluted, as
he had drilled them to do.
" Come, muchachos,** said the admiral ; " it seems
that the government is poor. It has no money to
give us. We will earn what we need to live upon.
Thus will we serve our country. Soon " — his heavy
eyes almost lighted up — " it may gladly call upon
us for help."
Thereafter El Nacional turned out with the other
coast craft and became a wage-earner. She worked
with the lighters freighting bananas and oranges out
to the fruit steamers that could not approach nearer
than a mile from the shore. Surely a self-support-
ing navy deserves red letters in the budget of any
After earning enough at freighting to keep himself
and his crew in provisions for a week Felipe would
anchor the navy and hang about the little telegraph
office, looking like one of the chorus of an insolvent
comic opera troupe besieging the manager's den. A
hope for orders from the capital was always in his
heart. That his services as admiral had never been
called into requirement hurt his pride and patriotism.
142 Cabbages and Kings
At every call he would inquire, gravely and expect-
antly, for despatches. The operator would pretend
to make a search, and then reply :
" Not yet, it seems, Senor el Almirante — poco
Outside in the shade of the lime-trees the \3rew
chewed sugar cane or slumbered, well content to
serve a country that was contented with so little
One day in the early summer the revolution pre-
dicted by the collector flamed out suddenly. It had
long been smouldering. At the fir&t note of alarm
the admiral of the navy force and fleet made all sail
for a larger port on the coast of a neighbouring re-
public, where he traded a hastily collected cargo of
fruit for its value in cartridges for the five Martini
rifles, the only guns that the navy could boast. Then
to the telegraph office sped the admiral. Sprawling
in his favourite comer, in his fast-decaying uniform,
with his prodigious sabre distributed between his red
legs, he waited for the long-delayed, but now soon
" Not yet, Senor el Almirante,** the telegraph
clerk would call to him — " poco tiempo! '*
At the answer the admiral would plump himself
down with a great rattling of scabbard to await the
The Admiral 148
infrequent tick of the little instrument on the
" They will come," would be his unshaken reply ;
" I am the admiraL"
THE FLAG PARAMOUNT
At the head of the insurgent party appeared that
Hector and learned Theban of the southern repub-
lics, Don Sabas Placldo. A traveller, a soldier, a
poet, a scientist, a statesman and a connoisseur —
the wonder was that he could content himself with
the petty, remote life of his native country.
" It is a whim of Placido's,'' said a friend who
knew him well, " to take up political intrigue. It is
not otherwise than as if he had come upon a new
tempo in music, a new bacillus in the air, a new
scent, or rhyme, or explosive. He will squeeze this
revolution dry of sensations, and a week afterward
will forget it, skimming the seas of the world in his
brigantine to add to his already world-famous col-
lections. Collections of what? For Dios! of every-
thing from postage stamps to prehistoric stone
But, for a mere dilettante, the aesthetic Placido
seemed to be creating a lively row. The people ad-
The Flag Paramount 145
mired him; they were fascinated by his brilliancy
and flattered by his taking an interest in so small a
thing as his native country. They rallied to the call
of his lieutenants in the capital, where (somewhat
contrary to arrangements) the army remained faith-
ful to the government. There was also lively skir-
mishing in the coast towns. It was rumoured that
the revolution was aided by the Vesuvius Fruit Com-
pany, the power that forever stood with chiding smile
and uplifted finger to keep Anchuria in the class of
good children. Two of its steamers, the Traveler
and the Salvador^ were known to have conveyed in-
surgent troops from point to point along the coast.
As yet there had been no actual uprising in Co-
ralio. Military law prevailed, and the ferment was
bottled for the time. And then came the word that
everywhere the revolutionists were encountering de-
feat. In the capital the president's forces tri-
umphed; and there was a rumour that the leaders of
the revolt had been forced to fly, hotly pursued.
In the little telegraph office at Coralio there was
always a gathering of officials and loyal citizens,
awaiting news from the seat of government. One
morning the telegraph key began clicking, and pres-
ently the operator called, loudly : " One telegram
for el Almirante^ Don Senor Felipe Carrera ! "
146 Cabbages and Kings
There was a shuffling sound, a great rattling of tin
scabbard, and the admiral, prompt at his spot of
waiting, leaped across the room to receive it.
The message was handed to him. Slowly spelling
it out, he found it to be his first official order — thus
" Proceed immediately with your vessel to mouth
of Rio Ruiz; transport beef and provisions to bar-
racks at Alforan. Martinez, General."
Small glory, to be sure, in this, his country's first
call. But it had called, and joy surged in the ad-
miral's breast. He drew his cutlass belt to another
buckle hole, roused his dozing crew, and in a quarter
of an hour El Nacionul was tacking swiftly down
coast in a stiff landward breeze.
The Rio Ruiz is a small river, emptying into
the sea ten miles below Coralio. That portion of the
coast is wild and solitary. Through a gorge in the
Cordilleras rushes the Rio Ruiz, cold and bubbling,
to glide, at last, with breadth and leisure, through
an alluvial morass into the sea.
In two hours El Nacional entered . the river's
mouth. The banks were crowded with a disposition
of formidable trees. The sumptuous undergrowth
The Flag Paramount 147
of the tropics overflowed the land, and drowned itself
in the fallow waters. Silently the sloop entered
there, and met a deeper silence. Brilliant with
greens and ochres and floral scarlets, the umbrageous
mouth of the Rio Ruiz furnished no sound or move-
ment save of the sea-going water as it purled against
the prow of the vessel. Small chance there seemed
of wresting beef or provisions from that empty soli-
The admiral decided to cast anchor, and, at the
chain's rattle, the forest was stimulated to instant
and resounding uproar. The mouth of the Rio
Ruiz had only been taking a morning nap. Parrots
and baboons screeched and barked in the trees; a
whirring and a hissing and a booming marked the
awakening of animal life ; a dark blue bulk was visible
for an instant, as a startled tapir fought his way
through the vines.
The navy, under orders, hung in the mouth of the
little river for hours. The crew served the dinner
of shark's fin soup, plantains, crab gumbo and sour
wine. The admiral, with a three-foot telescope,
closely scanned the impervious foliage fifty yards
It was nearly sunset when a reverberating " hal-
lo-o-o ! '' came from the forest to their left. It was
148 Cabbages and Kings
answered; and three men, mounted upon mules,,
crashed through the tropic tangle to within a dozen
yards of the river's bank. There they dismounted;
and one, unbuckling his belt, struck each mule a vio'
lent blow with his sword scabbard, so that they, with
a fling of heels, dashed back again into the forest.
Those were strange-looking men to be conveying
beef and provisions. One was a large and exceed-
ingly active man, of striking presence. He was of
the purest Spanish type, with curling, gray-
besprinkled, dark hair, blue, sparkling eyes, and the
pronounced air of a caballero grande. The other
two were small, brown-faced men, wearing white mili-
tary uniforms, high riding boots and swords. The
clothes of all were drenched, bespattered and rent
by the thicket. Some stress of circumstance must
have driven them, diable h quatre^ through flood,
mire and jungle.
" O'hS! Senor Almirantej* called the large man.
" Send to us your boat."
The dory was lowered, and Felipe, with one of the
Caribs, rowed toward the left bank.
The large man stood near the water's brink, waist
deep in the curling vines. As he gazed upon the
scarecrow figure in the stern of the dory a sprightly
interest beamed upon his mobile face.
The Flag Paramount 149
Months of wageless and thankless service had
dimmed the admiral's splendour. His red trousers
were patched and ragged. Most of the bright but-
tons and yellow braid were gone from his jacket.
The visor of his cap was torn, and depended almost
to his eyes. The admiral's feet were bare.
" Dear admiral," cried the large man, and his
voice was like a blast from a horn, " I kiss your
hands. I knew we could build upon your fidelity.
You had our despatch — from General Martinez. A
little nearer with your boat, dear Admiral. Upon
these devils of shifting vines we stand with the small-
Felipe regarded him with a stolid face.
" Provisions and beef for the barracks at Alfo-
ran," he quoted.
" No fault of the butchers, Almirante mio, that
the beef awaits you not. But you are come in time
to save the cattle. Get us aboard your vessel, senor,
at once. You first, caballeros — a priesa! Come
back for me. The boat is too small."
The dory conveyed the two officers to the sloop,
and returned for the large man.
" Have you so gross a thing as food, good ad-
miral? " he cried, when aboard. " And, perhaps,
cofifee? Beef and provisions! N ombre de Diosf a
150 Cabbages and Kings
little longer and we could have eaten one of those
mules that you, Colonel Rafael, saluted so feelingly
with your sword scabbard at parting. Let us have
food ; and then we will sail — for the barracks at
Alforan — no? *'
The Caribs prepared a meal, to which the three
passengers of El Nacional set themselves with fam-
ished delight. About sunset, as was its custom, the
breeze veered and swept back from the mountains,
cool and steady, bringing a taste of the stagnant
lagoons and mangrove swamps that guttered the low-
lands. The mainsail of the sloop was hoisted and
swelled to it, and at that moment they heard shouts
and a waxing clamour, from the bosky profundities
of the shore.
" The butchers, my dear admiral,'' said the large
man, smiling, " too late for the slaughter."
Further than his orders to his crew, the admiral
was saying nothing. The topsail and jib were
spread, and the sloop glided out of the estuary.
The large man and his companions had bestowed
themselves with what comfort they could about the
bare deck. Belike, the thing big in their minds had
been their departure from that critical shore; and
now that the hazard was so far reduced their thoughts
were loosed tg the considerc^tion of further deliver-
The Flag Paramount 151
ance. But when they saw the sloop turn and fly up
coast again they relaxed, satisfied with the course
the admiral had taken.
The large man sat at ease, his spirited blue eye
engaged in the contemplation of the navy's com-
mander. He was trying to estimate this sombre and
fantastic lad, whose impenetrable stolidity puzzled
him. Himself a fugitive, his life sought, and chafing
under the smart of defeat and failure, it was char-
acteristic of him to transfer instantly his interest to
the study of a thing new to him. It was like him,
too, to have conceived and risked all upon this last
desperate and madcap scheme — this message to a
poor, crazed fanatico cruising about with his gro-
tesque uniform and his farcical title. But his com-
panions had been at their wits' end; escape had
seemed incredible; and now he was pleased with the
success of the plan they had called crack-brained
The brief, tropic twilight seemed to slide swiftly
into the pearly splendour of a moonlit night. And
now the lights of Coralio appeared, distributed
against the darkening shore to their right. The ad-
miral stood, silent, at the tiller ; the Caribs, like black
panthers, held the sheets, leaping noiselessly at his
short commands. The three passengers were watch-
152 Cabbages and Kings
ing intently the sea before them, and when at length
they came in sight of the bulk of a steamer lying a
mile out from the town, with her lights radiating deep
into the water, they held a sudden voluble and close-
headed converse. The sloop was speeding as if to
strike midway between ship and shore.
The large man suddenly separated from his com-
panions and approached the scarecrow at the helm.
" My dear admiral," he said, " the government has
been exceedingly remiss. I feel all the shame for it
that only its ignorance of your devoted service has
prevented it from sustaining. An inexcusable over-
sight has been made. A vessel, a uniform and a crew
worthy of your fidelity shall be furnished you. But
just now, dear admiral, there is business of moment
afoot. The steamer lying there is the Salvador, I
and my friends desire to be conveyed to her, where
we are sent on the government's business. Do us
the favour to shape your course accordingly."
Without replying, the admiral gave a sharp com-
mand, and put the tiller hard to port. El Nacional
swerved, and headed straight as an arrow's course
for the shore.
" Do me the favour," said the large man, a trifle
restively, " to acknowledge, at least, that you catch
the sound of my words." It was possible that the
The Flag Paramount 158
fellow might be lacking in senses as well as intel-
The admiral emitted a croaking, harsh laugh, and
" They will stand you," he said, " with your face
to a wall and shoot you dead. That is the way they
kill tr&itors. I knew you when you stepped into my
boat. I have seen your picture in a book. You
are Sabas Placido, traitor to your country. With
your face to a wall. So, you will die. I am the
admiral, and I will take you to them. With your
face to a wall. Yes."
Don Sabas half turned and waved his hand, with
a ringing laugh, toward his fellow fugitives. " To
you, caballeros, I have related the history of that
session when we issued that O! so ridiculous com-
mission. Of a truth our jest has been turned against
us. Behold the Frankenstein's monster we have
created ! "
Don Sabas glanced toward the shore. The lights
of Coralio were drawing near. He could see the
beach, the warehouse of the Bodega Nacional, the
long, low cuartel occupied by the soldiers, and, be-
hind that, gleaming in the moonlight, a stretch of
high adobe wall. He had seen men stood with their
faces to that wall and shot dead.
154 Cabbages and Kings
Again he addressed the extravagant figure at the
** It is true,'* he said, " that I am fleeing the coun-
try. But, receive the assurance that I care very
little for that. Courts and samps everywhere are
open to Sabas Placido. Vaya! what is this molehill
of a republic — this pig's head of a country — to a
man like me? I am a paisano of everywhere. In
Rome, in London, in Paris, in Vienna, you will hear
them say: * Welcome back, Don Sabas.' Come! —
tonto — baboon of a boy — admiral, whatever you
call yourself, turn your boat. Put us on board the
Salvador, and here is your pay — five hundred
pesos in money of the Estados Unidos — more than
your lying government will pay you in twenty
Don Sabas pressed a plump purse against the
youth's hand. The admiral gave no heed to the
words or the movement. Braced against the helm,
he was holding the sloop dead on her shoreward
course. His dull face was lit almost to intelligence
by some inward conceit that seemed to afford him
joy, and found utterance in another parrot-like
"That is why they do it," he said — ^** so that
you will not see the guns. They fire — boom ! —
The Flag Paramount 155
and you fall dead. With your face to the wall.
The admiral called a sudden order to his crew.
The lithe, silent Caribs made fast the sheets they
held, and slipped down the hatchway into the hold
of the sloop. When the last one had disappeared,
Don Sabas, like a big, brown leopard, leaped for-
ward, closed and fastened the hatch and stood,
" No rifles, if you please, dear admiral," he said.
" It was a whimsey of mine once to compile a dic-
tionary of the Carib lengua. So, I understood your
order. Perhaps now you will — "
He cut short his words, for he heard the dull
" swish " of iron scraping along tin. The admiral
had drawn the cutlass of Pedro Lafitte, and was
darting upon him. The blade descended, and it was
only by a display of surprising agility that the large
man escaped, with only a bruised shoulder, the
glancing weapon. He was drawing his pistol as he
sprang, and the next instant he shot the admiral
Don Sabas stooped over him, and rose again.
" In the heart," he said briefly. " Senores, the
navy is abolished."
Colonel Rafael sprang to the helm, and the other
156 Cabbages and Kings
officer hastened to loose the mainsail sheets. The
boom swung round; El Nacional veered and began
to tack industriously for the Salvador.
" Strike that flag, seiior,*' called Colonel Rafael.
** Our friends on the steamer will wonder why we are
sailing under it.**
" Well said," cried Don Sabas. Advancing to the
mast he lowered the flag to the deck, where lay its
too loyal supporter. Thus ended the Minister of
War's little piece of after-dinner drollery, and by
the same hand that began it.
Suddenly Don Sabas gave a great cry of joy, and
ran down the slanting deck to the side of Colonel
Rafael. Across his arm he carried the flag of the
" Mire! mire! senor. Ah, Dios! Already can I
hear that great bear of an Oestreicher shout, * Du
ha^t mein herz gebrochen! ' Mire! Of my friend,
Herr Grunitz, of Vienna, you have heard me relate.
That man has travelled to Ceylon for an orchid-^—
to Patagonia for a headdress — to Benares for a
slipper — to Mozambique for a spearhead to add to
his famous collections. Thou knowest, also, amigo
Rafael, that I have been a gatherer of curios. My
collection of battle flags of the world's navies was
The Flag Paramount 157
the most complete in existence until last year. Then
Herr Grunitz secured two, O! such rare specimens.
One of a Barbary state, and one of the Makarooroos,
a tribe on the west coast of Africa. I have not those,
but they can be procured. But this flag, senor — do
you know what it is? Name of God! do you know?
See that red cross upon the blue and white ground!
You never saw it before? Seguramente no. It is
the naval flag of your country. Mire! This rotten
tub we stand upon is its navy — that dead cockatoo
lying there was its commander — that stroke of cut-
lass and single pistol shot a sea battle. All a piece
of absurd foolery, I grant you — but authentic.
There has never been another flag like this, and there
never will be another. No. It is unique in the
whole world. Yes. Think of what that means to
a collector of flags! Do you know, Coronel mio,
how many golden crowns Herr Grunitz would give
for this flag? Ten thousand, likely. Well, a hun-
dred thousand would not buy it. Beautiful flag!
Only flag! Little devil of a most heaven-born flag!
O'he! old grumbler beyond the ocean. Wait till
Don Sabas comes again to the Konigin Strasse. He
will let you kneel and touch the folds of it with one
finger. O-hel old spectacled ransacker of the
world I '*
158 Cabbages and Kings
Forgotten was the impotent revolution, the danger,
the loss, the gall of defeat. Possessed solely by the
Inordinate and unparalleled passion of the collector,
he strode up and down the little deck, clasping to his
breast with one hand the paragon of a flag. He
snapped his fingers triumphantly toward the east.
He shouted the paean to his prize in trumpet tones,
as though he would make old Grunitz hear in his
musty den beyond the sea.
They were waiting, on the ScdvadoVy to welcome
them. The sloop came close alongside the steamer
where her sides were sliced almost to the lower deck
for the loading of fruit. The sailors of the Salvador
grappled and held her there.
Captain McLeod leaned over the side.
" Well, senor, the jig is up, Fm told."
** The jig is up ? " Don Sabas looked perplexed for
a moment. " That revolution — ah, yes ! " With
a shrug of his shoulders he dismissed the matter.
The captain learned of the escape and the im-
"Caribs?'' he said; "no harm in them." He
slipped down into the sloop and kicked loose the
hasp of the hatch. The black fellows came tum-
bling up, sweating but grinning.
The Flag Paramount 159
Hey ! black boys ! " said the captain, in a dialect
of his own ; " you sabe, catchy boat and vamos back
same place quick."
They saw him point to themselves, the sloop and
Coralio. " Yas, yas ! " they cried, with broader
grins and many n^s.
The four — Don Sabas, the two officers and the
captain — moved to quit the sloop. Don Sabas
lagged a little behind, looking at the still form of the
late admiral, sprawled in his paltry trappings.
" Pobrecito loco,^^ he said softly.
He was a brilliant cosmopolite and a cognoscente
of high rank; but, after all, he was of the same race
and blood and instinct as this people. Even as the
simple paisanos of Coralio had said it, so said Don
Sabas. Without a smile, he looked, and said, " The
poor little crazed one ! "
Stooping he raised the limp shoulders, drew the
priceless and induplicable flag under them and over
the breast, pinning it there with the diamond star of
the Order of San Carlos that he took from the collar
of his own coat.
He followed after the others, and stood with them
upon the deck of the Salvador, The sailors that
steadied El Nacional shoved her off. The jabbering
160 Cabbages and Kings
Caribs hauled away at the rigging; the sloop headed
for the shore.
And Herr Grunitz's collection of naval flags was
still the finest in the world.
THE SHAMROCK AND THE PALM
One night when there was no breeze, and Coralio
seemed closer than ever to the gratings of Avemus,
five men were grouped about the door of the photo-
graph establishment of Keogh and Clancy. Thus, in
all the scorched and exotic places of the earth, Cau-
casians meet when the day's work is done to preserve
the fulness of their heritage by the aspersion of alien
Johnny Atwood lay stretched upon the grass in the
undress uniform of a Carib, and prated feebly of cool
water to be had in the cucumber-wood pumps of
Dalesburg. Dr. Gregg, through the prestige of his
whiskers and as a bribe against the relation of his
imminent professional tales, was conceded the ham-
mock that was swung between the door jamb and a
calabash-tree. Keogh had moved out upon the grass
a little table that held the instrument for burnishing
completed photographs. He was the only busy one
162 Cabbages and Kings
of the group. Industriously from between the cylin-
ders of the burnisher rolled the finished depictments
of Coralio's citizens. Blanchard, the French mining
engineer, in his cool linen viewed the smoke of his cig-
arette through his calm glasses, impervious to the
heat. Clancy sat on the steps, smoking his short
pipe. His mood was the gossip's ; the others were re-
duced, by the humidity, to the state of disability de-
sirable in an audience.
Clancy was an American with an Irish diathesis
and cosmopolitan proclivities. Many businesses had
claimed him, but not for long. The roadster's blood
was in his veins. The voice of the tintype was but
one of the many callings that had wooed him upon so
many roads. Sometimes he could be persuaded to
oral construction of his voyages into the informal and
egregious. To-night there were symptoms of divulge-
ment in him.
** 'Tis elegant weather for filibusterin'," he vol-
unteered. " It reminds me of the time I . struggled
to liberate a nation from the poisonous breath of a
tyrant's clutch. 'Twas hard work. 'Tis strainin' to
the back and makes corns on the hands."
" I didn't know you had ever lent your sword to an
oppressed people," murmured Atwood, from the
The Shamrock and the Palm 163
" I did," said Clancy ; " and they turned it into a
" What country was so fortunate as to secure your
aid? " airily inquired Blanchard.
"Where's Kamchatka?" asked Clancy, with
"Why, off Siberia somewhere in the Arctic re-
gions," somebody answered, doubtfully.
" I thought that was the cold one," said Clancy,
with a satisfied nod. " I'm always gettin' the two
names mixed. 'Twas Guatemala, then — the hot
one — I've been filibusterin' with. Ye'll find that
country on the map. 'Tis in the district known as
the tropics. By the foresight of Providence, it lies
on the coast so the geography man could run the
names of the towns off into the water. They're an
inch long, small type, composed of Spanish dialects,
and, 'tis my opinion, of the same system of syntax
that blew up the Maine, Yes, 'twas that country I
sailed against, single-handed, and endeavoured to
liberate it from a tyrannical government with a single-
barreled pickaxe, unloaded at that. Ye don't under-
stand, of course. 'Tis a statement demandin'
elucidation and apologies.
" 'Twas in New Orleans one morning about the
first of June; I was standin' down on the wharf.
164 Cabbages and Kings
lookin* about at the ships in the river. There was a
little steamer moored right opposite me that seemed
about ready to sail. The funnels of it were throwin'
out smoke, and a gang of roustabouts were carryin'
aboard a pile of boxes that was stacked up on the
wharf. The boxes were about two feet square, and
somethin' like four feet long, and they seemed to be
" I walked over, careless, to the stack of boxes. I
saw one of them had been broken in handlin'. 'Twas
curiosity made me pull up the loose top and look in-
side. The box was packed full of Winchester rifles.
* So, so,' says I to myself ; * somebody's gettin' a
twist on the neutrality laws. Somebody's aidin' with
munitions of war. I wonder where the popguns are
goin' ? '
" I heard somebody cough, and I turned around.
There stood a little, round, fat man with a brown face
and white clothes, a first-class-looking little man,
with a four-karat diamond on his finger and his eye
full of interrogations and respects. I judged he was
a kind of foreigner — may be from Russia or Japan
or the archipelagoes.
*' * Hist ! ' says the round man, full of concealments
and confidences. * Will the sefior respect the discov-
eryments he has made, that the mans on the ship
The Shamrock and the Palm 165
shall not be acquaint? The senor will be a gentle-
man that shall not expose one thing that by accident
** * Monseer,' says I — for I judged him to be a
kind of Frenchman — * receive my most exasperated
assurances that your secret is safe with James
Clancy. Furthermore, I will go so far as to remark,
Veev la Liberty — veev it good and strong. When-
ever you hear of a Clancy obstructin' the abolishment
of existin' governments you may notify me by return
** * The seiior is good,' says the dark, fat man,
smilin' under his black mustache. * Wish you to
come aboard my ship and drink of wine a glass.'
" Bein' a Clancy, in two minutes me and the for-
eigner man were seated at a table in the cabin of the
steamer, with a bottle between us. I could hear the
heavy boxes bein' dumped into the hold. I judged
that cargo must consist of at least 2,000 Winchesters.
Me and the brown man drank the bottle of stuff, and
he called the steward to bring another. When you
amalgamate a Clancy with the contents of a bottle
you practically instigate secession. I had heard a
good deal about these revolutions in them tropical
localities, and I begun to want a hand in it.
** * You goin' to stir things up in your country,
1(>6 Cabbages and Kings
ain't you, monseer? ' says I, with a wink to let him
know I was on.
" * Yes, yes,' said the little man, pounding his fist on
the table. * A change of the greatest will occur. Too
long have the people been oppressed with the promises
and the never-to-happen things to become. ' The
great work it shall be carry on. Yes. Our forces
shall in the capital city strike of the soonest. Car-
" * Carrambos is the word,' says I, beginning to in-
vest myself with enthusiasm and more wine, ' likewise
veeva, as I said before. May the shamrock of old —
I mean the banana-vine or the pie-plant, or whatever
the imperial emblem may be of your down-trodden
country, wave forever.'
" ' A thousand thank-yous,' says the round man,
* for your emission of amicable utterances. What
our cause needs of the very most is mans who will the
work do, to lift it along. Oh, for one thousands
strong, good mans to aid the General De Vega that
he shall to his country bring those success and glory !
It is hard — oh, so hard to find good mans to help
in the work.'
" ' Monseer,' says I, leanin' over the table and
graspin' his hand, * I don't know where your country
' , but me heart bleeds for it. The heart of a Clancy
The Shamrock and the Palm 167
was never deaf to the sight of an oppressed people.
The family is filibusterers by birth, and foreigners by
trade. If you can use James Clancy's arms and his
blood in denudin' your shores of the tyrant's yoke
they're yours to command.'
" General De Vega was overcome with joy to con-
fiscate my condolence of his conspiracies and predic-
aments. He tried to embrace me across the table,
but his fatness, and the wine that had been in the bot-
tles, prevented. Thus was I welcomed into the ranks
of filibustery. Then the general man told me his
country had the name of Guatemala, and was the
greatest nation laved by any ocean whatever any-
where. He looked at me with tears in his C3^es, and
from time to time he would emit the remark, * Ah !
big, strong, brave mans! That is what my country
" General De Vega, as was the name by which he
denounced himself, brought out a document for me to
sign, which I did, makin' a fine flourish and curlycue
with the tail of the * y.'
** * Your passage-money,' says the general, busi-
nesslike, * shall from your pay be deduct.'
" * 'Twill not,' says I, haughty. * I'll pay my own
passage.' A hundred and eighty dollars I had in my
inside pocket, and 'twas no common filibuster I was
168 Cabbages and Kings
goin' to be, filibustering for me board and clothes.
" The steamer was to sail in two hours, and I
went ashore to get some things together Pd need.
When I came aboard I showed the general with pride
the outfit. 'Twas a fine Chinchilla overcoat, Arctic
overshoes, fur cap and earmufFs, with elegant fleece-
lined gloves and woolen muffler.
" * Carrambos! ' says the little general. ' What
clothes are these that shall go to the tropic? ' And
then the little spalpeen laughs, and he calls the cap-
tain, and the captain calls the purser, and they pipe
up the chief engineer, and the whole gang leans
against the cabin and laughs at Clancy's wardrobe
^^ I reflects a bit, serious, and asks the general
again to denominate the terms by which his country
is called. He tells me, and I see then that 'twas the
t'other one, Kamchatka, I had in mind. Since then
I've had difficulty in separatin' the two nations in
name, climate and geographic disposition.
" I paid my passage — twenty-four dollars, first
cabin — and ate at table with the officer crowd.
Down on the lower deck was a gang of second-class
passengers, about forty of them, seemin' to be Da-
goes and the like. I wondered what so many of
them were goin' along for.
The Shamrock and the Palm 169
" Well, then, in three days we sailed alongside
that Guatemala. 'Twas a blue country, and not yel-
low as 'tis miscolored on the map. We landed at a
town on the coast, where a train of cars was waitin'
for us on a dinky little railroad. The boxes on the
steamer were brought ashore and loaded on the cars.
The gang of Dagoes got aboard, too, the general and
me in the front car. Yes, me and General De Vega
headed the revolution, as it pulled out of tlie seaport
town. That train travelled about as fast as a police-
man goin' to a riot. It penetrated the most con-
spicuous lot of fuzzy scenery ever seen outside a
geography. We run some forty miles in seven
hours, and the train stopped. There was no more
railroad. 'Twas a sort of camp in a damp gorge
full of wildness and melancholies. They was gradin'
and choppin' out the forests ahead to continue the
road. * Here,' says I to myself, ' is the romantic
haunt of the revolutionists. Here will Clancy, by
the virtue that is in a superior race and the inculca-
tion of Fenian tactics, strike a tremendous blow for
" They unloaded the boxes from the train and be-
gun to knock the tops oflF. From the first one that
was open I saw General De Vega take the Winchester
rifles and pass them around to a squad of morbid
170 Cabbages and Kings
soldiery. The other boxes was opened next, and,
believe me or not, divil another gun was to be seen.
Every other box in the load was full of pickaxes and
" And then — sorrow be upon them tropics —
the proud Clancy and the dishonoured Dagoes, each
one of them, had to shoulder a pick or a spade, and
march away to work on that dirty little railroad.
Yes; 'twas that the Dagoes shipped for, and 'twas
that the filibustering Clancy signed for, though un-
beknownst to himself at the time. In after days I
found out about it. It seems 'twas hard to get
hands to work on that road. The intelligent natives
of the country was too lazy to work. Indeed, the
saints know, 'twas unnecessary. By stretchin' out
one hand, they could seize the most delicate and
costly fruits of the earth, and, by stretchin' out the
other, they could sleep for days at a time without
hearin' a seven-o'clock whistle or the footsteps of the
rent man upon the stairs. So, regular, the steam-
ers travelled to the United States to seduce labour.
Usually the imported spade-slingers died in two or
three months from eatin' the over-ripe water and
breathin' the violent tropical scenery. Wherefore
they made them sign contracts for a year, when they
The Shamrock and the Palm 171
hired them, and put an armed guard over the poor
divils to keep them from runnin' away.
"'Twas thus I was double-crossed by the tropics
through a family failin' of goin' out of the way to
" They gave me a pick, and I took it, meditatin'
an insurrection on the spot ; but there was the guards
handlin' the Winchesters careless, and I come to the
conclusion that discretion was the best part of fili*
busterin'. There was about a hundred of us in the
gang startin' out to work, and the word was given to
move. I steps out of the ranks and goes up to that
General De Vega man, who was smokin' a cigar and
gazin* upon the scene with satisfactions and glory.
He smiles at me polite and devilish. ' Plenty work,'
says he, ' for big, strong mans in Guatemala. Yes.
T'lrty dollars in the month. Gopd pay. Ah, yes.
You strong, brave man. Bimeby we push those rail-
road in the capital very quick. They want you go
work now. AdioSy strong mans.'
" * Monseer,' says I, lingerin', ' will you tell a poor
little Irishman this: When I set foot on your cock-
roachy steamer, and breathed liberal and revolution-
ary sentiments into your sour wine, did you think I
was conspirin* to sling a pick on your contemptuous
172 Cabbages and Kings
little railroad? And when you answered me with
patriotic recitations, humping up the star-spangled
cause of liberty, did you have meditations of reducin'
me to the ranks of the stump-grubbin' Dagoes in the
chain-gangs of your vile and grovelin* country?'
" The general man expanded his rotundity and
laughed considerable. Yes, he laughed very long
and loud, and I, Clancy, stood and waited.
" ' Comical mans ! ' he shouts, at last. * So you
will kill me from the laughing. Yes; it is hard to
find the brave, strong mans to aid my country.
Revolutions? Did I speak of r-r-revolutions ? Not
one word. I say, big, strong mans is need in Guate-
mala. So. The mistake is of you. You have
looked in those one box containing those gun for the
guard. You think all boxes is contain gun? No.
" * There is not war in Guatemala. But work ?
Yes. Good. T'irty dollar in the month. You shall
shoulder one pickaxe, seiior, and dig for the liberty
and prosperity of Guatemala. Off to your work.
The guard waits for you.'
" * Little, fat, poodle dog of a brown man,' says I,
quiet, but full of indignations and discomforts,
* things shall happen to you. Maybe not right
away, but as soon as J. Clancy can formulate some-
thin' in the way of repartee.*
The Shamrock and the Palm 173
" The boss of the gang orders us to work. I
tramps off with the Dagoes, and I hears the distin-
guished patriot and kidnapper laughin' hearty as
** 'Tis a sorrowful fact, for eight weeks I built rail-
roads for that misbehavin' country. I filibustered
twelve hours a day with a heavy pick and a spade,
choppin' away the luxurious landscape that grew
upon the right of way. We worked in swamps that
smelled like there was a leak in the gas mains, tramp-
in' down a fine assortment of the most expensive hot-
house plants and vegetables. The scene was tropical
beyond the wildest imagination of the geography
man. The trees was all sky-scrapers; the under-
brush was full of needles and pins; there was mon-
keys jumpin' around and crocodiles and pink-tailed
mockin'-birds, and ye stood knee-deep in the rotten
water and grabbled roots for the liberation of Guate-
mala. Of nights we would build smudges in camp
to discourage the mosquitoes, and sit in the smoke,
with the guards pacin' all around us. There was
two hundred men workin' on the road — mostly
Dagoes, nigger-men, Spanish-men and Swedes.
Three or four were Irish.
" One old man named Halloran — a man of Hiber-
nian entitlements and discretions, explained it to me.
174 Cabbages and Kingt
He had been workin' on the road a year. Most of
them died in less than six months. He was dried
up to gristle and bone, and shook with chills every
• « « When you first come,' says he, * ye think ye'll
leave right away. But they hold out your first
month's pay for your passage over, and by that time
the tropics has its grip on ye. Ye're surrounded
by a ragin' forest full of disreputable beasts — lions
and baboons and anacondas — waitin' to devour ye.
The sun strikes ye hard, and melts the marrow in
your bones. Ye get similar to the lettuce-eaters the
poetry-book speaks about. Ye forget the elevated
sintiments of life, such as patriotism, revenge, dis-
turbances of the peace and the dacint love of a clane
shirt. Ye do your work, and ye swallow the kero-
sene ile and rubber pipestems dished up to ye by the
Dago cook for food. Ye light your pipeful, and say
to yoursilf, " Nixt week I'll break away," and ye go
to sleep and call yersilf a liar, for ye know ye'U never
" * Who is this general man,' asks I, * that calls
himself De Vega? '
" * 'Tis the man,' says Halloran, * who is tryin' to
complete the finishin' of the railroad. 'Twas the
project of a private corporation, but it busted, and
The Shamrock and the Palm 175
then the government took it up. De Vegy is a big
politician, and wants to be prisident. The people
want the railroad completed, as they're taxed mighty
on account of it. The De Vegy man is pushin* it
along as a campaign move.'
" * 'Tis not my way,' says I, * to make threats
against any man, but there's an account to be settled
between the railroad man and James O'Dowd
" * 'Twas that way I thought, mesilf, at first,' Hal-
loran says, with a big sigh, * until I got to be a
Ipttuce-eater. The fault's wid these tropics. They
rejuices a man's system. 'Tis a land, as the poet
says, " Where it always seems to be after dinner."
I does me work and smokes me pipe and sleeps.
There's little else in life, anyway. Ye'll get that
way yersilf, mighty soon. Don't be harbourin' any
sintiments at all, Clancy.'
" * I can't help it,' says I ; ' I'm full of 'em. I en-
listed in the revolutionary army of this dark country
in good faith to fight for its liberty, honours and
silver candlesticks ; instead of which I am set to am-
putatin' its scenery and grubbin' its roots. 'Tis the
general man will have to pay for it.'
" Two months I worked on that railroad before I
found a chance to get away. One day a gang of us
176 Cabbages and Kings
was sent back to the end of the completed line to fetch
some picks that had been sent down to Port Barrios
to be sharpened. They were brought on a hand-car,
and I noticed, when I started away, that the car was
left there on the track.
" That night, about twelve, I woke up Halloran
and told him my scheme.
"'Run away?' says Halloran. * Good Lord,
Clancy, do ye mean it? Why, I ain't got the nerve.
It's too chilly, and I ain't slept enough. Run away?
I told you, Clancy, I've eat the lettuce. I've lost my
grip. 'Tis the tropics that's done it. 'Tis like the
poet says : " Forgotten are our friends that we have
left behind; in the hollow lettuce-land we will live
and lay reclined." You better go on, Clancy. I'll
stay, I guess. It's too early and cold, and I'm sleepy.'
" So I had to leave Halloran. I dressed quiet, and
slipped out of the tent we were in. When the guard
came along I knocked him over, like a ninepin, with
a green cocoanut I had, and made for the railroad. I
got on that hand-car and made it fly. 'Twas yet a
while before daybreak when I saw the lights of Port
Barrios about a mile away. I stopped the hand-car
there and walked to the town. I stepped inside the
corporations of that town with care and hesitations.
I was not afraid of the armv of Guatemala, but me soul
The Shamrock and the Palm 177
quaked at the prospect of a hand-to-hand struggle
with its employment bureau. 'Tis a country that
hires its help easy and keeps 'em long. Sure I can
fancy Missis America and Missis Guatemala passin'
a bit of gossip some fine, still night across the moun-
tains. * Oh, dear,' says Missis America, * and it's a
lot of trouble I'm havin' ag'in with the help, senora,
ma'am.' * Laws, now ! ' says Missis Guatemala, ' you
don't say so, ma'am ! Now, mine never think of Icav-
in' me — te-he ! ma'am,' snickers Missis Guatemala.
" I was wonderin' how I was goin' to move away
from them tropics without bein' hired again. Dark
as it was, I could see a steamer ridin' in the harbour,
with smoke emergin' from her stacks. I turned down
a little grass street that run down to the water. On
the beach I found a little brown nigger-man j ust about
to shove off in a skiff.
" ' Hold on. Sambo,' says I, * savve English? '
" ' Heap plenty, yes,' says he, with a pleasant grin.
" * What steamer is that? ' I asks him, ' and where
is it going? And what's the news, and the good word
and the time of day?'
" ' That steamer the Conchita,^ said the brown
man, affable and easy, rollin' a cigarette. ' Him
come from New Orleans for load banana. Him got
load last night. I think him sail in one, two hour.
178 Cabbages and Kings
Verree nice day we shall be goin' have. You hear
some talkee 'bout big battle, maybe so.^ You think
catchee General De Vega, seiior? Yes? No?'
"'How's that. Sambo?' says I. 'Big battle?
What battle? Who wants catchee General De Vega?
I've been up at my old gold mines in the interior for a
couple of months, and haven't heard any news.'
" * Oh,' says the nigger-man, proud to speak the
English, * verree great revolution in Guatemala one
week ago. General De Vega, him try be president.
Him raise armee — one — five — ten thousand mans
for fight at the government! Those one govern-
ment send five — forty — hundred thousand soldier
to suppress revolution. They fight big battle yester-
day at Lomagrande — that about nineteen or fifty
mile in the mountain. That government soldier
wheep General De Vega — oh, most bad. Five hun-
dred — nine hundred — two thousand of his mans is
kill. That revolution is smash suppress — bust —
very quick. General De Vega, him r-r-run away
fast on one big mule. Yes, carrambos! The gen-
eral, him r-r-run away, and his armee is kill. That
government soldier, they try find General De Vega
verree much. They want catchee him for shoot. You
think they catchee that general, senor? '
Saints grant it ! ' says I. * 'Twould be the
The Shamrock and the Palm 179
judgment of Providence for settin' the warlike talent
of a Clancy to gradin' the tropics with a pick and
shovel. But 'tis not so much a question of insurrec-
tions now, me little man, as 'tis of the hired-man prob-
lem. 'Tis anxious I am to resign a situation of re-
sponsibility and trust with the white wings depart-
ment of your great and degraded country. Row me
in your little boat out to that steamer, and I'll give ye
five dollars — sinker pacers — sinker pacers,' says I,
reducin' the offer to the language and denomination of
the tropic dialects.
" * Cinco pesos,^ repeats the little man. ' Five dol-
lee, you give? '
" 'Twas not such a bad little man. He had hesi-
tations at first, sayin' that passengers leavin' the
country had to have papers and passports, but at last
he took me out alongside the steamer.
*' Day was just breakin' as we struck her, and there
wasn't a soul to be seen on board. The water was
very still, and the nigger-man gave me a lift from the
boat, and I climbed onto the steamer where her side
was sliced to the deck for loadin' fruit. The hatches
was open, and I looked down and saw the cargo of
bananas that filled the hold to within six feet of the top.
I thinks to myself, ' Clancy, you better go as a stow-
9.way. It's safer. The steamer men might hand you
180 Cabbages and Kings
back to the employment bureau. The tropic'll get
you, Clancy, if you don't watch out.'
" So I jumps down easy among the bananas, and
digs out a hole to hide in among the bunches. In an
hour or so I could hear the engines goin% and feel the
steamer rockin', and I knew we were off to sea. They
left the hatches open for ventilation, and pretty soon
it was light enough in the hold to see fairly well. I
got to feelin' a bit hungry, and thought I'd have a
light fruit lunch, by way of refreshment. I creeped
out of the hole I'd made and stood up straight. Just
then I saw another man crawl up about ten feet away
and reach out and skin a banana and stuff it into his
mouth. 'Twas a dirty man, black-faced and ragged
and disgraceful of aspect. Yes, the man was a ringer
for the pictures of the fat Weary Willie in the funny
papers. I looked again, and saw it was my general
man — I^e Vega, the great revolutionist, mule-rider
and pick-axe importer. When he saw me the general
hesitated with his mouth filled with banana and his
eyes the size of cocoanuts.
" * Hist ! ' I says. * Not a word, or they'll put us
off and make us walk. " Veev la Liberty ! " ' I adds,
copperin' the sentiment by shovin' a banana into the
source of it. I was certain the general wouldn't rec-
ognize me. The nefarious work of the tropics had
The Shamrock and the Palm 181
left me lookin' different. There was half an inch of
roan whiskers coverin' me face, and me costume was
a pair of blue overalls and a red shirt.
" * How you come in the ship, senor? ' asked the
general as soon as he could speak.
" * By the back door — whist ! ' says I. * 'Twas a
glorious blow for liberty we struck,' I continues : ' but
we was overpowered by numbers. Let us accept our
defeat like brave men and eat another banana.'
" * Were you in the cause of liberty fightin', senor .^ '
says the general, sheddin' tears on the cargo.
" ' To the last,' says I. ' 'Twas I led the last des-
perate charge against the minions of the tyrant. But
it made them mad, and we was forced to retreat.
'Twas I, general, procured the mule upon which you
escaped. Could you give that ripe bunch a little
boost this way, general? It's a bit out of my reach.
" * Say you so, brave patriot ? ' said the general,
again weepin'. ' Ah, Dios! And I have not the
means to reward your devotion. Barely did I my life
bring away. Carramhos! what a devil's animal was
that mule, senor! Like ships in one storm was I
dashed about. The skin on myself was ripped away
with the thorns and vines. Upon the bark of a hun-
dred trees did that beast of the infernal bump, and
182 Cabbages and Kings
cause outrage to the legs of mine. In the night to
Port Barrios I came. I dispossess myself of that
mountain of mule and hasten along the water shore.
I find a little boat to be tied. I launch myself and
row to the steamer. I cannot see any mans on board,
so I climbed one rope which hang at the side. I then
myself hide in the bananas. Surely, I say, if the ship
captains view me, they shall throw me again to those
Guatemala. Those things are not good. Guate-
mala will shoot General De Vega. Therefore, I am
hide and remain silent. Life itself is glorious. Lib-
erty, it is pretty good; but so good as life I do not
" Three days, as I said, was the trip to New
Orleans. The general man and me got to be cronies
of the deepest dye. Bananas we ate until they were
distasteful to the sight and an eyesore to the palate,
but to bananas alone was the bill of fare reduced. At
night I crawls out, careful, on the lower deck, and gets
a bucket of fresh water.
" That General De Vega was a man inhabited by
an engorgement of words and sentences. He added
to the monotony of the voyage by divestin' himself of
conversation. He believed I was a revolutionist of
his own party, there bein', as he told me, a good many
Americans and other foreigners in its ranks. 'Twas
The Shamrock and the Palm 188
a braggart and a conceited little gabbler it was,
though he considered himself a hero. 'Twas on him-
self he wasted all his regrets at the failin' of his plot.
Not a word did the little balloon have to say about the
other misbehavin' idiots that had been shot, or run
themselves to death in his revolution.
" The second day out he was feclin' pretty braggy
and uppish for a stowed-away conspirator that owed
his existence to a mule and stolen bananas. He was
tellin' me about the great railroad he had been build-
in', and he relates what he calls a comic incident
about a fool Irishman he inveigled from New Orleans
to sling a pick on his little morgue of a narrow-gauge
line. 'Twas sorrowful to hear the little, dirty general
tell the opprobrious story of how he put salt upon the
tail of that reckless and silly bird, Clancy. Laugh,
he did, hearty and long. He shook with laughin', the
black-faced rebel and outcast, standin' neck-deep in
bananas, without friends or country.
" * Ah, senor,' he snickers, * to the death you would
have laughed at that drollest Irish. I say to him:
" Strong, big mans is need very much in Guatemala."
" I will blows strike for your down-pressed country,"
he say. " That shall you do," I tell him. Ah ! it was
iin Irish so comic. He sees one box break upon the
wharf that contain for the guard a few gun. He
184 Cabbages and Kings
think there is gun in all the box. But that is all pick-
axe. Yes. Ah! senor, could you the face of that
Irish have seen when they set him to the work ! '
" 'Twas thus the ex-boss of the employment bureau
contributed to the tedium of the trip with merry jests
and anecdote. But now and then he would weep
upon the bananas and make oration about the lost
cause of liberty and the mule.
" 'Twas a pleasant sound when the steamer bumped
against the pier in New Orleans. Pretty soon we
heard the pat-a-pat of hundreds of bare feet, and the
Dago gang that unloads the fruit jumped on the deck
and down into the hold. Me and the general worked
a while at passin' up the bunches, and they thought
we were part of the gang. After about an hour we
managed to slip off the steamer onto the wharf.
" 'Twas a great honour on the hands of an obscure
Clancy, havin' the entertainment of the representa-
tive of a great foreign filibusterin' power. I first
bought for the general and myself many long drinks
and things to eat that were not bananas. The gen-
eral man trotted along at my side, leavin* all the ar-
rangements to me. I led him up to Lafayette Square
and set him on a bench in the little park. Cigarettes
I had bought for him, and he humped himself down
on the seat like a little, fat, contented hobo. I look
The Shamrock and the Palm 185
Lira over as he sets there, and what I see pleases me.
Brown by nature and Instinct, he is now brindled
with dirt and dust. Praise to the mule, his clothes
's mostly strings and flaps. Yes, the looks of the
general man is agreeable to Clancy.
" I asks him, delicate, if, by any chance, he brought
away anybody's money with him from Guatemala.
He sighs and humps his shoulders against the bench.
Not a cent. All right. Maybe, he tells me, some of
his friends in the tropic outfit will send him funds
later. The general was as clear a case of no visible
means as I ever saw.
" I told him not to move from the bench, and then I
went up to the comer of Poydras and Carondelet.
Along there is O'Hara's beat. In five minutes along
comes O'Hara, a big, fine man, red-faced, with shinin'
buttons, swingin' his club. 'Twould be a fine thing
for Guatemala to move into O'Hara's precinct.
'Twould be a fine bit of recreation for Danny to sup-
press revolutions and uprisings once or twice a week
with his club.
** * Is 5046 workin' yet, Danny ? ' says I, walkin'
up to him.
** * Overtime,' says O^Hara, lookin' over me sus-
picious. * Want some of it ? '
Fifty-forty-six Is the celebrated city ordinance
186 Cabbages and Kings
authorizin' arrest, conviction and imprisonment of
persons that succeed in concealin' their crime? from
" * Don't ye know Jimmy Clancy? ' says I. * Ye
pink-gilled monster.' So, when O'Hara recognized
me beneath the scandalous exterior bestowed upon
me by the tropics, I backed him into a doorway and
told him what I wanted, and why I wanted it. * All
right, Jimmy,' says O'Hara. * Go back and hold the
bench. I'll be along in ten minutes.'
" In that time O'Hara strolled through Lafayette
Square and spied two Weary Willies disgracin' one of
the benches. In ten minutes more J. Clancy and
General De Vega, late candidate for the presidency of
Guatemala, was in the station house. The general
is badly frightened, and calls upon me to proclaim his
distinguishments and rank.
" * The man,' says I to the police, * used to be a rail-
road man. He's on the bum now. 'Tis a little bug-
house he is, on account of losin' his job.'
" * Carrambost ' says the general, fizzin' like a lit-
tle soda-water fountain, * you fought, seiior, with my
forces in my native country. Why do you say the
lies? You shall say I am the General De Vega, one
soldier, one caballero — '
" * Railroader,' says I again. * On the hog. No
The Shamrock and the Palm 187
good. Been llvin' for three days on stolen bananas.
Look at him. Ain't that enough? '
" Twenty-five dollars or sixty days, was what the
recorder gave the general. He didn't have a cent, so
he took the time. They let me go, as I knew they
would, for I had money to show, and O'Hara spoke
for me. Yes ; sixty days he got. 'Twas just so long
that I slung a pick for the great country of Kam —
Clancy paused. The bright starlight showed a
reminiscent look of happy content on his seasoned
features, l^eogh leaned in his chair and gave his
partner a slap on his thinly-clad back that sounded
like the crack of the surf on the sands.
" Tell 'em, ye divil," he chuckled, " how you got
even with the tropical general in the way of agricul-
" Havin' no money," concluded Clancy, with unc-
tion, " they set him to work his fine out with a gang
from the parish prison clearing Ursulines Street.
Around the comer was a saloon decorated genially
with electric fans and cool merchandise. I made
that me headquarters, and every fifteen minutes I'd
walk around and take a look at the little man filibus-
tering with a rake and shovel. 'Twas just such a hot
broth of a day as this has been. And I'd call at him
188 Cabbages and Kings
* Hey, monseer ! ' and he'd look at me black, with the
damp showin' through his shirt in places.
" * Fat, strong mans,' says I to General De Vega,
* is needed in New Orleans. Yes. To carry on the
good work. Carrambos ! Erin go bragh ! ' "
THE REMNANTS OF THE CODE
Breakfast in Coralio was at eleven. There-
fore the people did not go to market early. The
little wooden market-house stood on a patch of short-
trimmed grass, under the vivid green foliage of a
Thither one morning the venders leisurely con-
vened, bringing their wares with them. A porch or
platform six feet wide encircled the building, shaded
from the mid-morning sun by the projecting, grass-
thatched roof. Upon this platform the venders were
wont to display their goods — newly-killed beef, fish,
crabs, fruit of the country, cassava, eggs, dulces and
high, tottering stacks of native tortillas as large
around as the sombrero of a Spanish grandee.
But on this morning they whose stations lay on the
seaward side of the market-house, instead of spread-
ing their merchandise formed themselves into a softly
jabbering and gesticulating group. For there upon
their space of the platform was sprawled, asleep, the
190 Cabbages and Kings
unbeautlful figure of " Beelzebub " BIythe. He lay
upon a ragged strip of cocoa matting, more than ever
a fallen angel in appearance. His suit of coarse flax,
soiled, bursting at the seams, crumpled into a thou-
sand diversified wrinkles and creases, inclosed him
absurdly, like the garb of some effigy that had been
stuffed in sport and thrown there after indignity had
been wrought upon it. But firmly upon the high
bridge of his nose reposed his gold-rimmed glasses,
the surviving badge of his ancient glory.
The sun's rays, reflecting quiveringly from the rip-
pling sea upon his face, and the voices of the market-
men woke " Beelzebub " BIythe. He sat up, blinking,
and leaned his back against the wall of the mar-
ket. Drawing a blighted silk handkerchief from his
pocket, he assiduously rubbed and burnished his
glasses. And while doing this he became aware that
his bedroom had been invaded, and that polite brown
and yellow men were beseeching him to vacate in
favour of their market stuff.
If the senor would have the goodness — a thousand
pardons for bringing to him molestation — but soon
would come the compradores for the day's provisions
— surely they had ten thousand regrets at disturbing
In this manner they expanded to him the intima-
The Remnants of the Code 191
tion that he must clear out and cease to clog the
wheels of trade.
Blythe stepped from the platform with the air of a
prince leaving his canopied couch. He never quite
lost that air, even at the lowest point of his fall. It
is clear that the college of good breeding does not
necessarily maintain a chair of morals within its walls.
Blythe shook out his wry clothing, and moved
slowly up the Calle Grande through the hot sand. He
moved without a destination in his mind. The
little town was languidly stirring to its dally life.
Golden-skinned babies tumbled over one another in
the grass. The sea breeze brought him appetite, but
nothing to satisfy it. Throughout Coralio were its
morning odors — those from the heavily fragrant
tropical flowers and from the bread baking in the
outdoor ovens of clay and the pervading smoke of
their fires. Where the smoke cleared, the crystal air,
with some of the efficacy of faith, seemed to remove the
mountains almost to the sea, bringing them so near
that one might count the scarred glades on their
wooded sides. The light-footed Car lbs were swiftlj
gliding to their tasks at the waterside. Already
along the bosky trails from the banana groves files
of horses were slowly moving, concealed, except fox
their nodding heads and plodding legs, by the bunches
192 Cabbages and Kings
of green-golden fruit heaped upon their backs. On
doorsills sat women combing their long, black hair and
calling, one to another, across the narrow thorough-
fares. Peace reigned in Coralio — arid and bald
peace ; but still peace.
On that bright morning when Nature seemed to
be offering the lotus on the Dawn's golden platter
" Beelzebub " Blythe had reached rock bottom.
Further descent seemed impossible. That last night's
slumber in a public place had done for him. As long
as he had had a roof to cover him there had remained,
unbridged, the space that separates a gentleman
from the beasts of the jungle and the fowls of the air.
But now he was little more than a whimpering oyster
led to be devoured on the sands of a Southern sea
by the artful walrus, Circumstance, and the im-
placable carpenter, Fate.
To Blythe money was now but a memory. He
had drained his friends of all that their good-fellow-
ship had to offer; then he had squeezed them to the
last drop of their generosity ; and at the last. Aaron-
like, he had smitten the rock of their hardening bosoms
for the scattering, ignoble drops of Charity itself.
He had exhausted his credit to the last real. With
the minute keenness of the shameless sponger he was
aware of every source in Coralio from which a glass
The Remnants of the Code 193
of mm, a meal or a piece of silver could be wheedled.
Marshalling each such source in his mind, he con-
sidered it with all the thoroughness and penetration
that hunger and thirst lent him for the task. All his
optimism failed to thresh a grain of hope from the
chaff of his postulations. He had played out the
game. That one night in the open had shaken his
nerves. Until then there had been left to him at
least a few grounds upon which he could base his
unblushing demands upon his neighbours' stores.
Now he must beg instead of borrowing. The most
brazen sophistry could not dignify by the name of
" loan " the coin contemptuously flung to a beach-
comber who slept on the bare boards of the public
But on this morning no beggar would have more
thankfully received a charitable coin, for the demon
thirst had him by the throat — the drunkard's matu-
tinal thirst that requires to be slaked at each morn-
ing station on the road to Tophet.
Blythe walked slowly up the street, keeping a
watchful eye for any miracle that might drop manna
upon him in his wilderness. As he passed the popu-
lar eating house of Madama Vasquez, Madama's
boarders were just sitting down to freshly-baked
bread, aguacates, pines and delicious coffee that sent
194 Cabbages and Kings
forth odorous guarantee of its quality upon the
breeze. Madama was serving; she turned her shy,
stolid, melancholy gaze for a moment out the win-
dow; she saw Blythe, arid her expression turned more
shy and embarrassed. " Beelzebub " owed her twenty
pesos. He bowed as he had once bowed to less em-
barrassed dames to whom he owed nothing, and passed
Merchants and their clerks were throwing open
the solid wooden doors of their shops. Polite but
cool were the glances they cast upon Blythe as he
lounged tentatively by with the remains of his old
jaunty air; for they were his creditors almost without
At the little fountain in the plaza he made an
apology for a toilet with his wetted handkerchief.
Across the open square filed the dolorous line of
friends to the prisoners in the calabozay bearing the
morning meal of the immured. The food in their
hands aroused small longing in Blythe. It was
drink that his soul craved, or money to buy it.
In the streets he met many with whom he had been
friends and equals, and whose patience and liberality
he had gradually exhausted. Willard Geddie and
Paula cantered past him with the coolest of nods,
returning from their daily horseback ride along the
The Remnants of the Code 195
old Indian road. Keogh passed him at another cor-
ner, whistling cheerfully and bearing a prize of newly-
laid eggs for the breakfast of himself and Clancy.
The jovial scout of Fortune w^as one of Blythe's vic-
tims who had plunged his hand oftenest into his
pocket to aid him. But now it seemed that Keogh,
too, had fortified himself against further invasions.
His curt greeting and the ominous light in his full,
grey eye quickened the steps of " Beelzebub," whom
desperation had almost incited to attempt an addi-
tional " loan.''
Three drinking shops the forlorn one next visited
in succession. In all of these his money, his credit
and his welcome had long since been spent; but
Blythe felt that he would have fawned in the dust at
the feet of an enemy that morning for one draught
of aguardiente. In two of the pulperias his coura-
geous petition for drink was met with a refusal so
polite that it stung worse than abuse. The third es-
tablishment had acquired something of American
methods ; and here he was seized bodily and cast out
upon his hands and knees.
This physical indignity caused a singular change
in the man. As he picked himself up and walked
away, an expression of absolute relief came upon his
features. The specious and conciliatory smile that
196 Cabbages and Kings
had been graven there was succeeded by a look of
calm and sinister resolve. " Beelzebub " had been
floundering in the sea of improbity, holding by a
slender life-line to the respectable world that had
cast him overboard. He must have felt that with
this ultimate shock the line had snapped, and have
experienced the welcome ease of the drowning swim-
mer who has ceased to struggle.
Blythe walked to the next comer and stood there
while he brushed the sand from his garments and re-
polished his glasses.
" I've got to do it — oh, I've got to do it," he told
himself, aloud. " If I had a quart of rum I believe
I could stave it off yet — for a little while. But
there's no more rum for — * Beelzebub,' as they call
me. By the flames of Tartarus ! if I'm to sit at the
right hand of Satan somebody has got to pay the court
expenses. You'll have to pony up, Mr. Frank Good-
win. You're a good fellow; but a gentleman must
draw the line at being kicked into the gutter. Black-
mail isn't a pretty word, but it's the next station on
the road I'm travelling."
With purpose in his steps Blythe now moved rap-
idly through the town by way of its landward en-
virons. He passed through the squalid quarters of the
improvident negroes and on beyond the picturesque
The Remnants of the Code 197
shacks of the poorer mestizos. From many points
along his course he could see, through the umbrageous
glades, the house of Frank Goodwin on its wooded
hill. And as he crossed the little bridge over the la-
goon he saw the old Indian, Galvez, scrubbing at the
wooden slab that bore the name of Miraflores. Be-
yond the lagoon the lands of Goodwin began to slope
gently upward. A grassy road, shaded by a munifi-
cent and diverse array of tropical flora wound from
the edge of an outlying banana grove to the dwelling.
Blythe took this road with long and purposeful strides.
Goodwin was seated on his coolest gallery, dictat-
ing letters to his secretary, a sallow and capable
native youth. The household adhered to the Ameri-
can plan of breakfast ; and that meal had been a thing
of the past for the better part of an hour.
The castaway walked to the steps, and flourished
" Good morning, Blythe," said Goodwin, looking
up. " Come in and have a chair. Anything I can
do for you? "
" I want to speak to you in private."
Goodwin nodded at his secretary, who strolled out
under a mango tree and lit a cigarette. Blythe took
the chair that he had left vacant.
" I want some money," he began, doggedly.
198 Cabbages and Kings
" Fm sorry," said Goodwin, with equal directness,
" but you can't have any. You're drinking yourself
to death, Blythe. Your friends have done all they
could to help you to brace up. You won't help your-
self. There's no use furnishing you with money to
ruin yourself with any longer."
" Dear man," said Blythe, tilting back his chair,
" it isn't a question of social economy now. It's past
that. I like you, Goodwin; and I've come to stick a
knife between your ribs. I was kicked out of Es-
pada's saloon this morning ; and Society owes me rep-
aration for my wounded feelings."
" I didn't kick you out."
" No ; but in a general way you represent Society ;
and in a particular way you represent my last chance.
I've had to come down to it, old man — I tried to do
it a month ago when Losada's man was here turning
things over; but I couldn't do it then. Now it's dif-
ferent. I want a thousand dollars, Goodwin; and
you'll have to give it to me."
" Only last week," said (Joodwin, with a smile, ** a
silver dollar was all you were asking for."
" An evidence," said Blythe, flippantly, " that I was
still virtuous — though under heavy pressure. The
wages of sin should be something higher than a peso
worth forty-eight cents. Let's talk business. I am
The Remnants of the Code 199
the villain in the third act ; and I must have my mer-
ited, if only temporary, triumph. I saw you collar
the late president's valiseful of boodle. Oh, I know
it's blackmail; but I'm liberal about the price. 1
know I'm a cheap villain — one of the regular saw-
mill-drama kind — but you're one of my particular
friends, and I don't want to stick you hard."
" Suppose you go into the details," suggested Good-
win, calmly arranging his letters on the table.
" All right," said " Beelzebub." " I like the way
you take it. I despise histrionics ; so you will please
prepare yourself for the facts without any red fire,
calcium or grace notes on the saxophone.
** On the night that His Fly-by-night Excellency
arrived in town I was very drunk. You will excuse
the pride with which I state that fact ; but it was quite
a feat for me to attain that desirable state. Some-
body had left a cot out under the orange trees in the
yard of Madama Ortiz's hotel. I stepped over the
wall, laid down upon it, and fell asleep. I was awak-
ened by an orange that dropped from the tree upon
my nose ; and I laid there for awhile cursing Sir Isaac
Newton, or whoever it was that invented gravitation,
for not confining his theory to apples.
** And then along came Mr. Miraflores and his true-
love with the treasury in a valise, and went into the
200 Cabbages and Kings
hotel. Next you hove in sight, and held' a pow-wow
with the tonsorlal artist who insisted upon talking
shop after hours. I tried to slumber again ; but once
more my rest was disturbed — this time by the noise
of the popgun that went off upstairs. Then that
valise came crashing down into an orange tree just
above my head; and I arose from my couch, not
knowing when it might begm to rain Saratoga trunks.
When the army and the constabulary began to arrive,
with their medals and decorations hastily pinned to
their pajamas, and their snickersnees drawn, I
crawled into the welcome shadow of a banana plant.
I remained there for an hour, by which time the ex-
citement and the people had cleared away. And then,
my dear Goodwin — excuse me — I saw you sneak
back and pluck that ripe and juicy valise from the
orange tree. I followed you, and saw you take it to
your own house. A hundred-thousand-dollar crop
from one orange tree in a season about breaks the
record of the fruit-growing industry,
" Being a gentleman at that time, of course I never
mentioned the incident to anyone. But this morn-
ing I was kicked out of a saloon, my code of honour
is all out at the elbows, and I'd sell my mother's
prayer-book for three fingers of aguardiente. I'm
not putting on the screws hard. It ought to be worth
The Remnants of the Code 201
a thousand to you for me to have slept on that cot
through the whole business without waking up and
Goodwin opened two more letters, and made mem-
oranda in pencil on them. Then he called " Man-
uel ! " to his secretary, who came, spryly.
"The Ariel — when does she sail?" asked Good-
" Seiior," answered the youth, " at three this after-
noon. She drops down-coast to Punta Soledad to
complete her cargo of fruit. From there she sails for
New Orleans without delay."
" Bueno! " said Goodwin. " These letters may
wait yet awhile."
The secretary returned to his cigarette under the
" In round numbers," said Goodwin, facing Blythe
squarely, " how much money do you owe in this
town, not including the sums you have ' borrowed '
from me ? "
" Five hundred — at a rough guess," answered
" Go somewhere in the town and draw up a sched-
ule of your debts," said Goodwin. " Come back here
in two hours, and I will send Manuel with the money
to pay them. I will also have a decent outfit of cloth-
202. Cabbages and Kings
ing ready for you. You will sail on the Ariel at
three. Manuel will accompany you as far as the
deck of the steamer. There he will hand you one
thousand dollars in cash. I suppose that we needn't
discuss what you will be expected to do in return."
" Oh, I understand," piped Blythe, cheerily. ** I
was asleep all the time on the cot under Madama
Ortiz's orange trees ; and I shake off the dust of Co-
ralio forever. I'll play fair. No more of the lotus
for me. Your proposition is O. K. You're a good
fellow, Goodwin; and I let you off light. I'll agree
to everjrthing. But in the meantime — I've a devil
of a thirst on, old man — "
" Not a centavo" said Goodwin, firmly, " until you
are on board the Ariel. You would be drunk in
thirty minutes if you had money now."
But he noticed the blood-streaked eyeballs, the re-
laxed form and the shaking hands of " Beelzebub ; "
and he stepped into the dining room through the low
window, and brought out a glass and a d^'canter of
" Take a bracer, anyway, before you go *' he pro-
posed, even as a man to the friend whom he enter-
" Beelzebub " Blythe's eyes glistened at the sight
of the solace for which his soul burned. To-da^ for
The Remnants of the Code 203
the first time his poisoned nerves had been denied
their steadying dose ; and their retort was a mounting
torment. He grasped the decanter and rattled its
crystal mouth against the glass in his trembling hand.
He flushed the glass, and then stood erect, holding it
aloft for an instant. For one fleeting moment he
held his head above the drowning waves of his abyss.
He nodded easily at Goodwin, raised his brimming
glass and murmured a " health " that men had used
in his ancient Paradise Lost. And then so suddenly
that he spilled the brandy over his hand, he set down
his glass, untasted.
" In two hours," his dry lips muttered to Goodwin,
as he marched down the steps and turned his face
toward the town.
In the edge of the cool banana grove " Beelzebub "
halted, and snapped the tongue of his belt buckle into
" I couldn't do it," he explained, feverishly, to the
waving banana fronds. " I wanted to, but I couldn't.
A gentleman can't drink with the man that he black-
John DE GRAFFENREID ATWOOD ate of
the lotus, root, stem, and flower. The tropics gob-
bled him up. He plunged enthusiastically into his
work, which was to try to forget Rosine.
Now, they who dine on the lotus rarely consume
it plain. There is a sauce au diable that goes with it ;
and the distillers are the chefs who prepare it. And
on Johnny's menu card it read " brandy." With a
bottle between them, he and Billy Keogh would sit
on the porch of the little consulate at night and roar
out great, indecorous songs, until the natives, slipping
hastily past, would shrug a shoulder and mutter
things to themselves about the " Americanos dia-
One day Johnny's mozo brought the mail and
dumped it on the table. Johnny leaned from his
hammock, and fingered the four or five letters de-
jectedly. Keogh was sitting on the edge of the table
chopping lazily with a paper knife at the legs of a
centipede that was crawling among the stationery.
Johnny was in that phase of lotus-eating when all
the world tastes bitter in one's mouth.
" Same old thing ! " he complained. " Fool people
writing for information about the country. They
want to know all about raising fruit, and how to make
a fortune without work. Half of 'em don't even send
stamps for a reply. They think a consul hasn't any-
thing to do but write letters. Slit those envelopes for
me, old man, and see what they want. I'm feeling
too rocky to move."
Keogh, acclimated beyond all possibility of ill-hu-
mour, drew his chair to the table with smiling compli-
ance on his rose-pink countenance, and began to slit
open the letters. Four of them were from citizens in
various parts of the United States who seemed to re-
gard the consul at Coralio as a cyclopaedia of
information. They asked long lists of questions, nu-
merically arranged, about the climate, products, pos-
sibilities, laws, business chances, and statistics of the
country in which the consul had the honour of repre-
senting his own government.
" Write 'em, please, Billy," said that inert official,
" just a line, referring them to the latest consular re-
port. Tell 'em the State Department will be de-
lighted to furnish the literary gems. Sign my name.
206 Cabbages and Kings
Don't let your pen scratch, Billy; it'll keep me
" Don't snore," said Keogh, amiably^ " and I'll do
your work for you. You need a corps of assistants,
anyhow. Don't see how you ever get out a report.
Wake up a minute! — here's one more letter — it's
from your own town, too — Dalesburg."
"That so?" murmured Johnny showing a mild
and obligatory interest. " What's it about? "
** Postmaster writes," explained Keogh. ** Says a
citizen of the town wants some facts and advice from
you. Says the citizen has an idea in his head of
coming down where you are and opening a shoe store.
Wants to know if you think the business would pay.
Says he's heard of the boom along this coast, and
wants to get in on the ground floor."
In spite of the heat and his bad temper, Johnny's
hammock swayed with his laughter. Keogh laughed
too ; and the pet monkey on the top shelf of the book-
case chattered in shrill sympathy with the ironical
reception of the letter from Dalesburg.
"** Great bunions ! " exclaimed the consul. " Shoe
store! What'U they ask about next, I wonder?
Overcoat factory, I reckon. Say, Billy — of our
3,000 citizens, how many do you suppose ever had
OP \ pair of shoes ? "
Keogh reflected judicially.
** Let's see — there's you and me and — ^"
" Not me," said Johnny, promptly and incorrectly,
holding up a foot encased in a disreputable deerskin
zapato. " I haven't been a victim to shoes in
" But you've got 'em, though," went on Keogh.
" And there's Goodwin and Blanchard and Geddie
and old Lutz and Doc Gregg and that Italian that's
agent for the banana company, and there's old Del-
gado — no ; he wears sandals. And, oh, yes ; there's
Madama Ortiz, * what kapes the hotel ' — she had on
a pair of red kid slippers at the baile the other night.
And Miss Pasa, her daughter, that went to school in
the States — she brought back some civilized notions
in the way of footgear. And there's the comandante^s
sister that dresses up her feet on feast-days — and
Mrs. Geddie, who wxars a two with a Castilian instep
— and that's about all the ladies. Let's see — don't
some of the soldiers at the cuartel — no : that's so ;
they're allowed shoes only when on the march. In
barracks they turn their little toeses out to grass."
" 'Bout right," agreed the consul. " Not over
twenty out of the three thousand ever felt leather on
their walking arrangements. Oh, yes; Coralio is just
the town for an enterprising shoe store — that doesn't
208 Cabbages and Kings
want to part with its goods. Wonder if old Patterson
IS trying to jolly me! He always was full of things
he called jokes. Write him a letter, Billy. I'll dic-
tate it. We'll jolly him back a few."
Keogh dipped his pen, and wrote at Johnny's dicta-
tion. With many pauses, filled in with smoke and
sundry travellings of the bottle and glasses, the fol-
lowing reply to the Dalesburg communication was
Me. Obadiah Patterson,
Dear Sir: In reply to your favour of July 2d, I
have the honour to inform you that, according to my
opinion, there is no place on the habitable globe that
presents to the eye stronger evidence of the need of
a first-class shoe store than does the town of Coralio,
There are 3,000 inhabitants in the place, and not a
single shoe store! The situation speaks for itself.
This coast is rapidly becoming the goal of enter-
prising business men, but the shoe business is one that
has been sadly overlooked or neglected. In fact,
there are a considerable number of our citizens actu-
ally without shoes at present.
Besides the want above mentioned, there is also a
crying need for a brewery, a college of higher mathe-
matics, a coal yard, and a clean and intellectual
Punch and Judy show. I have the honour to be, sir,
Your Obt. Servant,
John De Graffenreid Atwood,
U. S, Consul at Coralio.
P.S. — Hello ! Uncle Obadiah. How's the old burg
racking along? What would the government do with-
out you and me? Look out for a green-headed par-
rot and a bunch of bananas soon, from your old
** I throw in that postscript," explained the consul,
"* so Uncle Obadiah won't take offence at the official
tone of the letter! Now, Billy, you get that corre-
spondence fixed up, and send Pancho to the post-office
with it. The Ariadne takes the mail out to-morrow
if they make up that load of fruit to-day."
The night programme in Coralio never varied.
The recreations of the people were soporific and flat.
They wandered about, barefoot and aimless, speak-
ing lowly and smoking cigar or cigarette. Looking
down on the dimly lighted ways one seemed to see a
threading maze of brunette ghosts tangled with a pro-
cession of insane fireflies. In some houses the thrum-
ming of lugubrious guitars added to the depression of
the triste night. Giant tree-frogs rattled in the foli-
210 Cabbages and Kings
age as loudly as the end man's " bones " in a minstrel
troupe. By nine o'clock the streets were almost de-
Nor at the consulate was there often a change of
bill. Keogh would come there nightly, for Coralio's
one cool place was the little seaward porch of that
The brandy would be kept moving ; and before mid-
night sentiment would begin to stir in the heart of the
self-exiled consul. Then he would relate to Keogh
the story of his ended romance. Each night Keogh
would listen patiently to the tale, and be ready with
" But don't you think for a minute " — thus
Johnny would always conclude his woeful narrative
— " that I'm grieving about that girl, Billy. I've for-
gotten her. She never enters my mind. If she were
to enter that door right now, my pulse wouldn't gain
a beat. That's all over long ago."
"Don't I know it?" Keogh would answer. "Of
course you've forgotten her. Proper thing to do.
Wasn't quite O. K. of her to listen to the knocks that
— er — Dink Pawson kept giving you."
" Pink Dawson ! " — a world of contempt would be
in Johnny's tones — ^^ Poor white trash ! That's what
he was. Had five hundred acres of farming land,
though ; and that counted. Maybe I'll have a chance
to get back at him some day. The Dawsons weren't
anybody. Everybody in Alabama knows the At-
woods. Say, Billy — did you know my mother was
a De Graifenreid? "
" Why, no," Keogh would say ; " is that so? " He
had heard it some three hundred times.
" Fact. The De Graffenreids of Hancock County.
But I never think of that girl any more, do I, Billy? "
" Not for a minute, my boy," would be the last
sounds heard by the conqueror of Cupid.
At this point Johnny would fall into a gentle slum-
ber, and Keogh would saunter out to his own shack
under the calabash tree at the edge of the plaza.
In a day or two the letter from the Dalesburg post-
master and its answer had been forgotten by the
Coralio exiles. But on the 26th day of July the fruit
of the reply appeared upon the tree of events.
The Andador, a fruit steamei that visited Coralio
regularly, drew into the offing and anchored. The
beach was lined with spectators while the quarantine
doctor and the custom-house crew rowed out to attend
to their duties.
An hour later Billy Keogh lounged into the con-
sulate, clean and cool in his linen clothes, and grin-
ning like a pleased shark.
212 Cabbages and Kings
"Guess what?'* he said to Johnny, lounging in
" Too hot to guess," said Johnny, lazily.
" Your shoe-store man's come," said Keogh, rolling
the sweet morsel on his tongue, *' with a stock of
goods big enough to supply the continent as far down
as Terra del Fuego. They're carting his cases over
to the custom-house now. Six barges full they
brought ashore and have paddled back for the rest.
Oh, ye saints in glory! won't there be regalements in
the air when he gets onto the joke and has an inter-
view with Mr. Consul? It'll be worth nine years in
the tropics just to witness that one joyful moment."
Keogh loved to take his mirth easily. He selected
a clean place on the matting and lay upon the floor.
The walls shook with his enjoyment. Johnny turned
half over and blinked.
" Don't tell me," he said, " that anybody was fool
enough to take that letter seriously."
" Four-thousand-dollar stock of goods ! " gasped
Keogh, in ecstasy. " Talk about coals to Newcastle !
Why didn't he take a ship-load of palm-leaf fans to
Spitzbergen while he was about it? Saw the old
codger on the beach. You ought to have been there
when he put on his specs and squinted at the five hun-
dred or so barefooted citizens standing around.
Are you telling the truth, Billy?" asked the
" Am I ? You ought to see the buncoed gentle-
man's daughter he brought along. Looks! She
makes the brick-dust senoritas here look like tar-
" Go on," said Johnny, " if you can stop that
asinine giggling. I hate to see a grown man make
a laughing hyena of himself."
** Name is Hemstetter," went on Keogh. " He's
a — Hello ! what's the matter now ? "
Johnny's moccasined feet struck the floor with a
thud as he wriggled out of his hammock.
" Get up, you idiot," he said, sternly, " or I'll brain
you with this inkstand. That's Rosine and her
father. Gad ! what a drivelling idiot old Patterson is !
Get up, here, Billy Keogh, and help me. What the
devil are we going to do? Has all the world gone
crazy ? "
Keogh rose and dusted himself. He managed to
regain a decorous demeanour.
" Situation has got to be met, Johnny," he said,
with some success at seriousness. " I didn't think
about its being your girl until you spoke. First thing
to do is to get them comfortable quarters. You go
down and face the music, and I'll trot out to Good-
214 Cabbages and Kings
win's and see if Mrs. Goodwin won't take them in.
They've got the decentest house in town."
" Bless you, Billy ! " said the consul. " I knew
you wouldn't desert me. The world's bound to come
to an end, but maybe we can stave it off for a day or
Keogh hoisted his umbrella and set out for Good-
win's house. Johnny put on his coat and hat. He
picked up the brandy bottle, but set it down again
without drinking, and marched bravely down to the
In the shade of the custom-house walls he found
Mr. Hemstetter and Rosine surrounded by a mass of
gaping citizens. The customs officers were ducking
and scraping, while the captain of the Andador inter-
preted the business of the new arrivals. Rosine
looked healthy and very much alive. She was gazing
at the strange scenes around her with amused interest.
There was a faint blush upon her round cheek as she
greeted her old admirer. Mr. Hemstetter shook
hands with Johnny in a very friendly way. He was
an oldish, impractical man — one of that numerous
class of erratic business men who are forever dissat-
isfied, and seeking a change.
" I am very glad to see you, John — may I call you
John ? " he saidt^ " tet n]e thf^nk you for your prompt
answer to our postmaster's letter of inquiry. He
volunteered to write to you on my behalf. I was
looking about for something different in the way of
a business in which the profits would be greater. I
had noticed in the papers that this coast was receiving
much attention from investors. I am extremely grate-
ful for your advice to come. I sold out everything
that I possess, and invested the proceeds in as fine a
stock of shoes as could be bought in the North. You
have a picturesque town here, John. I hope business
will be as good as your letter justifies me in expect-
Johnny's agony was abbreviated by the arrival of
Keogh, who hurried up with the news that INIrs. Good-
win would be much pleased to place rooms at the dis-
posal of Mr. Hemstetter and his daughter. So there
Mr. Hemstetter and Rosine were at once conducted
and left to recuperate from the fatigue of the voyage,
while Johnny went down to see that the cases of shoes
were safely stored in the customs warehouse pending
their examination by the officials. Keogh, grinning
like a shark, skirmished about to find Goodwin, to in-
struct him not to expose to Mr. Hemstetter the true
state of Coralio as a shoe market until Johnny had
been given a chance to redeem the situation, if such a
thing were possible.
216 Cabbages and Kings
That night the consul and Keogh held a desperate
consultation on the breezy porch of the consulate.
" Send 'em back home," began Keogh, reading
" I would," said Johnny, after a little silence ; " but
I've been lying to you, Billy."
" All right about that," said Keogh, affably.
*' I've told you hundreds of times," said Johnny,
slowly, " that I had forgotten that girl, haven't I ? "
" About three hundred and seventy-five," admitted
the monument of patience.
" I lied," repeated the consul, " every time. I
never forgot her for one minute. I was an obstinate
ass for running away just because she said * No '
once. And I was too proud a fool to go back. I
talked with Rosine a few minutes this evening up at
Goodwin's. I found out one thing. You remember
that farmer fellow who was always after her? "
"Dink Pawson?" asked Keogh.
" Pink Dawson. Well, he wasn't a hill of beans
to her. She says she didn't believe a word of the
things he told her about me. But I'm sewed up now,
Billy. That tomfool letter we sent ruined whatever
chance I had left. She'll despise me when she finds
out that her old father has been made the victim of a
joke that a decent school boy wouldn't have been
guilty of. Shoes! Why he couldn't sell twenty
pairs of shoes in Coralio if he kept store here for
twenty years. You put a pair of shoes on one of
these Caribs or Spanish brown boys and what'd he
do? Stand on his head and squeal until he'd kicked
'em off. None of 'em ever wore shoes and they never
will. If I send 'em back home I'll have to tell the
whole story, and what'U she think of me? I want
that girl worse than ever, Billy, and now when she's
in reach I've lost her forever because I tried to be
funny when the thermometer was at 102."
" Keep cheerful," said the optimistic Iveogh.
" And let 'em open the store. I've been busy myself
this afternoon. We can stir up a temporary boom in
foot-gear anyhow. I'll buy six pairs when the doors
open. I've been around and seen all the fellows and
explained the catastrophe. They'll all buy shoes
like they was centipedes. Frank Goodwin will take
cases of 'em. The Geddies want about eleven pairs
between 'em. Clancy is going to invest the savings of
weeks, and even old Doc Gregg wants three pairs of
alligator-hide slippers if they've got any tens. Blanch-
ard got a look at Miss Hemstetter; and as he's a
Frenchman, no less than a dozen pairs will do for him."
" A dozen customers," said Johnny, " for a $4,000
stock of shoes ! It won't work. There's a big prob-
218 Cabbages and Kings
lem here to figure out. You go home, Billy, and
leave me alone. I've got to work at it all by myself.
Take that bottle of Three-star along with you — no,
sir ; not another ounce of booze for the United States
consul. FU sit here to-night and pull out the think
stop. If there's a soft place on this proposition any-
where I'll land on it. If there isn't there'll be another
wreck to the credit of the gorgeous tropics."
Keogh left, feeling that he could be of no use.
Johnny laid a handful of cigars on a table and
stretched himself in a steamer chair. When the sud-
den daylight broke, silvering the harbour ripples, he
was still sitting there. Then he got up, whistling a
little tune, and took his bath.
At nine o'clock he walked down to the dingy little
cable office and hung for half an hour over a blank.
The result of his application was the following mes-
sage, which he signed and had transmitted at a cost
of $33 :
To PiNKNEY Dawson,
Draft for $100 comes to you next mail. Ship me
immediately 500 pounds stiff, dry cockleburrs. New
use here in arts. Market price twenty cents pound.
Further orders likely. Rush.
>VlTHIN a week a suitable building had been se-
cured in the Calle Grande, and Mr. Hemstetter's stock
of shoes arranged upon their shelves. The rent of
the store was moderate ; and the stock made a fine
showing of neat white boxes, attractively displayed.
Johnny's friends stood by him loyally. On the first
day Keogh strolled into the store in a casual kind of
way about once every hour, and bought shoes. After
he had purchased a pair each of extension soles, con-
gress gaiters, button kids, low-quartered calfs, dan-
cing pumps, rubber boots, tans of various hues, tennis
shoes and flowered slippers, he sought out Johnny to
be prompted as to the names of other kinds that he
might inquire for. The other English-speaking resi-
dents also played their parts nobly by buying often
and liberally. Keogh was grand marshal, and made
them distribute their patronage, thus keeping up a
fair run of custom for several days.
Mr. Hemstetter »ras gratified by the amount of
220 Cabbages and Kings
business done thus far; but expressed surprise that
the natives were so backward with their custom.
" Oh, they're awfully shy," explained Johnny, as he
wiped his forehead nervously. " They'll get the
habit pretty soon. They'll come with a rush when
they do come."
One afternoon Keogh dropped into the consul's
office, chewing an unlighted cigar thoughtfully.
"Got anything up your sleeve?" he inquired of
Johnny. " If you have it's about time to show it.
If you can borrow some gent's hat in the audience,
and make a lot of customers for an idle stock of shoes
come out of it, you'd better spiel. The boys have all
laid in enough footwear to last 'em ten years; and
there's nothing doing in the shoe store but dolcy far
nienty/ I just came by there. Your venerable victim
was standing in the door, gazing through his specs at
the bare toes passing by his emporium. The natives
here have got the true artistic temperament. Me and
Clancy took eighteen tintypes this morning in two
hours. There's been but one pair of shoes sold all
day. Blanchard went in and bought a pair of fur-
lined house-slippers because he thought he saw Miss
Hemstetter go into the store. I saw him throw the
slippers into the lagoon afterwards."
" There's a Mobile fruit steamer coming in to-mor-
row or next day," said Johnny. " We can't do any-
thing until then."
" What are you going to do — try to create a de-
" Political economy isn't your strong point," said
the consul, impudently. " You can't create a de-
mand. But you can create a necessity for a demand.
That's what I am going to do."
Two weeks after the consul sent his cable, a fruit
steamer brought him a huge, mysterious brown bale
of some unknown commodity. Johnny's influence
with the custom-house people was sufficiently strong
for him to get the goods turned over to him without
the usual inspection. He had the bale taken to the
consulate and snugly stowed in the back room.
That night he ripped open a corner of it and took
out a handful of the cockleburrs. He examined
them with the care with which a warrior examines his
arms before he goes forth to battle for his lady-love
and life. The burrs were the ripe August product,
as hard as filberts, and bristling with spines as tough
and sharp as needles. Johnny whistled softly a little
tune, and went out to find Billy Keogh.
Later in the night, when Coralio was steeped in
slumber, he and Billy went forth into the deserted
streets with their coats bulging like balloons. All up
222 Cabbages and Kings
and down the Calle Grande they went, sowing the
sharp burrs carefully in the sand, along the narrow
sidewalks, In every foot of grass between the silent
houses. And then they took the side streets and by-
ways, missing none. No place where the foot of man,
woman or child might fall was slighted. Many trips
they made to and from the prickly hoard. And then,
nearly at the dawn, they laid themselves down to rest
calmly, as great generals do after planning a victory
according to the revised tactics, and slept, knowing
that they had sowed with the accuracy of Satan sow-
ing tares and the perseverance of Paul planting.
With the rising sun came the purveyors of fruits
and meats, and arranged their wares In and around
the little market-house. At one end of the town near
the seashore the market-house stood; and the sowing
of the burrs had not been carried that far. The
dealers waited long past the hour when their sales
usually began. None came to buy. " Que hay? '*
they began to exclaim, one to another.
At their accustomed ti«ie, from every 'dobe and
palm hut and grass-thatched shack and dim patio
glided women — black women, brown women, lemon-
colored women, women dun and yellow and tawny.
They were the marketers starting to purchase the
family supply of cassava, plantains, meat, fowls, arid
tortillas. Decollete they were and bare-armed and
bare-footed, with a single skirt reaching below the
knee. Stolid and ox-eyed, they stepped from their
doorways into the narrow paths or upon the soft grass
of the streets.
The first to emerge uttered ambiguous squeals, and
raised one foot quickly. Another step and they sat
down, with shrill cries of alarm, to pick at the new
and painful insects that had stung them upon the feet.
" Que picadores diablos! " they screeched to one an-
other across the narrow ways. Some tried the grass
instead of the paths, but there they were also stung
and bitten by the strange little prickly balls. They
plumped down in the grass, and added their lamenta-
tions to those of their sisters in the sandy paths. All
through the town was heard the plaint of the feminine
jabber. The venders in the market still wondered
why no customers came.
Then men, lords of the earth, came forth. They,
too, began to hop, to dance, to limp, and to curse.
They stood stranded and foolish, or stooped to pluck
at the scourge that attacked their feet and ankles.
Some loudly proclaimed the pest to be poisonous spi-
ders of an unknown species.
And then the children ran out for their morning
romp. And now to the uproar was added the howls
224 Cabbages and Kings
of limping infants and cockleburred childhood. Ev-
ery minute the advancing day brought forth fresh
Dona Maria Castillas y Buenventura de las Casas
stepped from her honoured doorway, as was her daily
custom, to procure fresh bread from the panaderia
across the street. She was clad in a skirt of flowered
yellow satin, a chemise of ruffled linen, and wore a
purple mantilla from the looms of Spain. Her lem-
on-tinted feet, alas! were bare. Her progress was
majestic, for were not her ancestors hidalgos of Ara-
gon ? Three steps she made across the velvety grass,
and set her aristocratic sole upon a bunch of Johnny's
burrs. Dona Maria Castillas y Buenventura de las
Casas emitted a yowl even as a wild-cat. Turning
about, she fell upon hands and knees, and crawled —
ay, like a beast of the field she crawled back to her
Don Seiior Ildefonso Federico Valdazar, Juez de la
PaZy weighing twenty stone, attempted to convey his
bulk to the pulperia at the comer of the plaza in order
to assuage his matutinal thirst. The first plunge of
his unshod foot into the cool grass struck a concealed
mine. Don Ildefonso fell like a crumpled cathedral,
crying out that he had been fatally bitten by a deadly
scorpion. Everywhere were the shoeless citizens hop-
ping, stumbling, limping, and picking from their feet
the venomous insects that had come in a single night
to harass them.
The first to perceive the remedy was Esteban Del-
gado, the barber, a man of travel and education.
Sitting upon a stone, he plucked burrs from his toes,
and made oration:
" Behold, my friends, these bugs of the devil ! I
know them well. They soar through the skies in
swarms like pigeons. These are dead ones that fell
during the night. In Yucatan I have seen them as
large as oranges. Yes! There they hiss like ser-
pents, and have wings like bats. It is the shoes —
the shoes that one needs! Zapatos — zapatos para
Esteban hobbled to Mr. Hemstetter's store, and
bought shoes. Coming out, he swaggered down the
street with impunity, reviling loudly the bugs of the
devil. The suffering ones sat up or stood upon one
foot and beheld the immune barber. Men, women
and children took up the cry: " Zapatos! zapatos! "
The necessity for the demand had been created.
The demand followed. That day Mr. Hemstetter
sold three hundred pairs of shoes.
" It is really surprising," he said to Johnny, who
came up in the evening to help him straighten out the
226 Cabbages and Kings
stock, " how trade is picking up. Yesterday I made
but three sales."
" I told you they'd whoop things up when they got
started," said the consul.
" I think I shall order a dozen more cases of goods,
to keep the stock up," said Mr. Hemstetter, beaming
through his spectacles.
" I wouldn't send in any orders yet," advised
Johnny. " Wait till you see how the trade holds
Each night Johnny and Keogh sowed the crop that
grew dollars by day. At the end of ten days two-
thirds of the stock of shoes had been sold; and the
stock of cockleburrs was exhausted. Johnny cabled
to Pink Dawson for another 500 pounds, paying
twenty cents per pound as before. Mr. Hemstetter
carefully made up an order for $1500 worth of shoes
from Northern firms. Johnny hung about the store
until this order was resuly for the mail, and succeeded
in destroying it before it reached the postoffice.
That night he took Rosine under the mango tree by
Goodwin's porch, and confessed everything. She
looked him in the eye, and said : " You are a very
wicked man. Father and I will go back home. You
say it was a joke.'^ I think it is a very serious mat-
But at the end of half an hour's argument the con-
versation had been turned upon a different subject.
The two were considering the respective merits of
pale blue and pink wall paper with which the old
colonial mansion of the Atwoods in Dalesburg was to
be decorated after the wedding.
On the next morning Johnny confessed to Mr.
Hcmstetter. The shoe merchant put on* his specta-
cles, and said through them : " You strike me as be-
ing a most extraordinary young scamp. If I had not
managed this enterprise with good business judgment
my entire stock of goods might have been a complete
loss. Now, how do you propose to dispose of the
rest of it.?"
When the second invoice of cockleburrs arrived
Johnny loaded them and the remainder of the shoes
into a schooner, and sailed down the coast to Alazan.
There, in the same dark and diabolical manner, ho
repeated his success: and came back with a bag of
money and not so much as a shoestring.
And then he besought his great Uncle of the waving
goatee and starred vest to accept his resignation, for
the lotus no longer lured him. He hankered for the
spinach and cress of Dalesburg.
The services of Mr. William Terence Keogh as
acting consul, pro tern., were suggested and accepted.
228 Cabbages and Kings
and Johnny sailed with the Hemstetters back to his
Keogh slipped into the sinecure of the American
consulship with the ease that never left him even in
such high places. The tintype establishment was
soon to become a thing of the past, although its
deadly work along the peaceful and helpless Spanish
Main was never effaced. The restless partners were
about to be off again, scouting ahead of the slow ranl^s
of Fortune. But now they would take different ways.
There were rumours of a promising uprising in Peru ;
and thither the martial Clancy would turn his adven-
turous steps. As for Keogh, he was figuring in his
mind and on quires of Government letter-heads a
scheme that dwarfed the art of misrepresenting the
human countenance upon tin.
" What suits me,'* Keogh used to say, " In the way
of a business proposition is something diversified that
looks like a longer shot than it is — something in the
way of a genteel graft that isn't worked enough for
the correspondence schools to be teaching it by mail.
I take the long end; but I like to have at least as
good a chance to win as a man learning to play poker
on an ocean steamer, or running for governor of
Texas on the Republican ticket. And when I cash
in my winnings I don't want to find any widows' and
orphans' chips in my stack."
The grass-grown globe was the green table on
which Keogh gambled. The games he played were
of his* own invention. He was no grubber after the
diffident dollar. Nor did he care to follow it with
horn and hounds. Rather he loved to coax it with
egregious and brilliant flies from its habitat in the
waters of strange streams. Yet Keogh was a busi-
ness man ; and his schemes, in spite of their singular-
ity, were as solidly set as the plans of a- building
contractor. In Arthur's time Sir William Keogh
would have been a Knight of the Round Table. In
these modem days he rides abroad, seeking the Graft
instead of the Grail.
Three days after Johnny's departure, two small
schooners appeared off Coralio. After some delay a
boat put off from one of them, and brought a sun-
burned young man ashore. This young man had a
shrewd and calculating eye ; and he gazed with amaze-
ment at the strange things that he saw. He found
on the beach some one who directed him to the con-
sul's office ; and thither he made his way at a nervous
Keogh was sprawled in the official chair, drawing
230 Cabbages and Kings
caricatures of his Uncle's head on an official pad of
paper. He looked up at his visitor.
"Where's Johnny Atwood?" inquired the sun-
burned young man, in a business tone.
" Gone," said Keogh, working carefully at Uncle
"-That's just like him," remarked the nut-brown
une, leaning against the table. " He always was a
fellow to gallivant around instead of 'tending to busi-
ness. Will he be in soon ? "
" Don't think so," said Keogh, after a fair amount
" I s'pose he's out at some of his tomfoolery," con-
jectured the visitor, in a tone of virtuous conviction.
" Johnny never would stick to anything long enough
to succeed. I wonder how he manages to run his
business here, and never be 'round to look after it."
" I'm looking after the business just now," ad-
mitted the pro tern, consul.
" Are you ? — then, say ! — where's the factory ? "
" What factory .'^ " asked Keogh, with a mildly po-
" Why, the factory where they use them cockle-
burrs. Lord knows what they use 'em for, anyway!
I've got the basements of both them ships out there
loaded with 'em. I'll give you a bargain in this lot.
I've had every man, woman and child around Dales-
burg that wasn't busy pickin' 'em for a month. I
hired these ships to bring 'em over. Everybody
thought I was crazy. Now, you can have this lot for
fifteen cents a pound, delivered on land. And if you
want more I guess old Alabam' can come up to the
demand. Johnny told me when he left home that if
he struck anything down here that there was any
money in he'd let me in on it. Shall I drive the ships
in and hitch? "
A look of supreme, almost incredulous, delight
dawned in Keogh's ruddy countenance. He dropped
his pencil. His eyes turned upon the sunburned
young man with joy in them mingled with fear lest
his ecstasy should prove a dream.
" For God's sake tell me," said Kcogh, earnestly,
" are you Dink Pawson ? "
" My name is Pinkney Dawson," said the cornerer
of the cockleburr market.
Billy Keogh slid rapturously and gently from his
chair to his favourite strip of matting on the floor.
There were not many sounds in Coralio on that
sultry afternoon. Among those that were may be
mentioned a noise of enraptured and unrighteous
laughter from a prostrate Irish-American, while a
sunburned young man, with a shrewd eye, looked on
282 Cabbages and Kings
him with wonder and amazement. Also the ^' tramp,
tramp, tramp *' of many well-shod feet in the streets
outside. Also the lonesome wash of the waves that
beat along the historic shores of the Spanish Main.
MASTERS OF ARTS
A TWO-INCH stub of a blue pencil was the wand
with which Keogh performed the preliminary acts of
his magic. So, with this he covered paper with dia-
grams and figures while he waited for the United
States of America to send down to Coralio a successor
to Atwood, resigned.
The new scheme that his mind had conceived, his
stout heart indorsed, and his blue pencil corroborated,
was laid around the characteristics and human frailties
of the new president of Anchuria. These character-
istics, and the situation out of which Keogh hoped to
wrest a golden tribute, deserve chronicling contribu-
tive to the clear order of events.
President Losada — many called him Dictator —
was a man whose genius would have made him con-
spicuous even among Anglo-Saxons, had not that
genius been intermixed with other traits that were
petty and subversive. He had some of the lofty pa-
triotism of Washington (the man he most admired),
284 Cabbages and Kings .^
the force of Napoleon, and much of the wiidom Om
the sages. These characteristics might have justified
him in the assumption of the title of '^ The Illustrious
Liberator," had they not been accompanied by a
stupendous and amazing vanity that kept him in the
less worthy ranks of the dictators.
Yet he did his country great service. With a
mighty grasp he shook it nearly free from the shackles
of ignorance and sloth and the vermin that fed upon
it, and all but made it a power in the council of na-
tions. He established schools and hospitals, built
roads, bridges, railroads and palaces, and bestowed
generous subsidies upon the arts and sciences. He
was the absolute despot and the idol of his people.
The wealth of the country poured into his hands.
Other presidents had been rapacious without reason.
Losada amassed enormous wealth, but his people had
their share of the benefits.
The joint in his armour was his insatiate passion
for monuments and tokens commemorating his glory.
In every town he caused to be erected statues of him-
self bearing legends in praise of his greatness. In the
walls of every public edifice, tablets were fixed reciting
his splendour and the gratitude of his subjects. His
stisituettes and portraits were scattered throughout
the land in every house and hut. One of the syco-
Masters of Arts 283
phants in his court painted him as St. John, with a
halo and a train of attendants in full uniform. Lo-
sada saw nothing incongruous in this picture, and
had it hung in a church in the capital. He ordered
from a French sculptor a marble group including
himself with Napoleon, Alexander the Great, and
one or two others whom he deemed worthy of the
He ransacked Europe for decorations, employing
policy, money and intrigue to cajole the orders he
coveted from kings and rulers. On state occasions
his breast was covered from shoulder to shoulder with
crosses, stars, golden roses, medals and ribbons. It
was said that the man who could contrive for him a
new decoration, or invent some new method of ex-
tolling his greatness, might plunge a hand deep into
This was the man upon whom Billy Keogh had his
eye. The gentle buccaneer had observed the rain of
favours that fell upon those who ministered to the
president's vanities, and he did not deem it his duty
to hoist his umbrella against the scattering drops of
In a few weeks the new consul arrived, releasing
Keogh from his temporary duties. He was a young
man fresh from college, who lived for botany alone.
286 Cabbages and Kings
The consulate at Coralio gave him the opportunity to
study tropical flora. He wore smoked glasses, and
carried a green umbrella. He filled the cool, back
porch of the consulate with plants and specimens so
that space for a bottle and chair was not to be found.
Keogh gazed on him sadly, but without rancour, and
began to pack his gripsack. For his new plot against
stagnation along the Spanish Main required of him a
Soon came the Karlsefin again — she of the
trampish habits — gleaning a cargo of coco£Cnuts for
a speculative descent upon the New York market.
Keogh was booked for a passage on the return trip.
" Yes, I'm going to New York,*' he explained to the
group of his countrymen that had gathered on the
beach to see him off. " But I'll be back before you
miss me. I've undertaken the art education of this
piebald country, and I'm not the man to desert it
while it's in the early throes of tintypes."
With this mysterious declaration of his intentions
Keogh boarded the Karlsefin.
Ten days later, shivering, with the collar of his thin
coat turned high, he burst into the studio of Carolus
White at the top of a tall building in Tenth Street,
New York City.
Carolus White was smokipg a cigarette and frying
Masters of Arts 237
sausages over an oil stove. He was only twenty-
three, and had noble theories about art.
" Billy Keogh ! '* exclaimed White, extending the
hand that was not busy with the frying pan. " From
what part of the uncivilized world, I wonder ! "
'^ Hello, Carry," said Keogh, dragging forward a
stool, and holding his fingers close to the stove.
" I'm glad I found you so soon. I've been looking
for you all day in the directories and art galleries.
The free-lunch man on the corner told me where you
were, quick. I was sure you'd be painting pictures
Keogh glanced about the studio with the shrewd
eye of a connoisseur in business.
" Yes, you can do it," he declared, with many
gentle nods of his head. " That big one in the cor-
ner with the angels and green clouds and band-wagon
is just the sort of thing we want. What would you
call that. Carry — scene from Coney Island, ain't
" That," said White, " I had intended to call ' The
Translation of Elijah,' but you may be nearer right
than I am."
" Name doesn't matter," said Keogh, largely ; " it's
the frame and the varieties of paint that does the
trick. Now, I can tell you in a minute what I want.
238 Cabbages and Kings
I've come on a little voyage of two thousand miles to
take you in with me on a scheme. I thought of you
as soon as the scheme showed itself to me. How
would you like to go back with me and paint a pic-
ture? Ninety days for the trip, and five thousand
dollars for the job."
" Cereal food or hair-trnic posters ? *' asked White.
" It isn't an ad."
" What kind of a picture is it to be? "
" It's a long story," said Keogh.
" Go ahead with it. If you don't mind, while you
talk I'll just keep my eye on these sausages. Let
'em get one shade deeper than a Vandyke brown and
you spoil 'em."
Keogh explained his project. They were to return
to Coralio, where White was to pose as a distinguished
American portrait painter who was touring in the
tropics as a relaxation from his arduous and remuner-
ative professional labours. It was not an unreason-
able hope, even to those who trod in the beaten paths
of business, that an artist with so much prestige might
secure a commission to perpetuate upon canvas the
lineaments of the president, and secure a share of the
pesos that were raining upon the caterers to his weak-
Keogh had set his price at ten thousand dollars.
Masters of Arts 289
Artists had been paid more for portraits. He and
White were to share the expenses of the trip, and
divide the possible profits. Thus he laid the scheme
before White, whom he had known in the West before
one declared for Art and the other became a Bedouin.
Before long the two machinators abandoned the
rigour of the bare studio for a snug corner of a cafe.
There they sat far into the night, with old envelopes
and Keogh's stub of blue pencil between them.
At twelve o'clock White doubled up in his chair,
with his chin on his fist, and shut his eyes at the
" I'll go you, Billy," he said, in the quiet tones of
decision. " I've got two or three hundred saved up
for sausages and rent; and I'll take the chance with
you. Five thousand! It will give me two years in
Paris and one in Italy. I'll begin to pack to-mor-
" You'll begin in ten minutes," said Keogh. " It's
to-morrow now. The Karlsefin starts back at four
p. M. Come on to your painting shop, and I'll help
For five months in the year Coralio is the Newport
of Anchuria. Then only does the town possess life.
From November to March it is practically the seat of
government. The president with his official family
240 Cabbages and Kings
sojourns there; and society follows him. The pleas-
ure-loving people make the season one long holiday
of amusement and rejoicing. Fiestas^ balls, games,
sea bathing, processions and small theatres contribute
to their enjoyment. The famous Swiss band from
the capital plays in the little plaza every evening,
while the fourteen carriages and vehicles in the town
circle in funereal but complacent procession, Indians
from the interior mountains, looking like prehistoric
stone idols, come down to peddle their handiwork in
the streets. The people throng the narrow ways, a
chattering, happy, careless stream of buoyant human-
ity. Preposterous children rigged out with the
shortest of ballet skirts and gilt wings, howl, under-
foot, among the effervescent crowds. Especially is
the arrival of the presidential party, at the opening
of the season, attended with pomp, show and patriotic
demonstrations of enthusiasm and delight.
When Keogh and White reached their destination,
on the return trip of the Karlsefin, the gay winter
season was well begun. As they stepped upon the
beach they could hear the band playing in the plaza.
The village maidens, with fireflies already fixed in
their dark locks, were gliding, barefoot and coy-
eyed, along the paths. Dandies in white linen,
swinging their canes, were beginning their seductive
Masters of Arts 241
strolls. The air was full of human essence, of arti-
ficial enticement, of coquetry, indolence, pleasure —
the man-made sense of existence.
The first two or three days after their arrival were
spent in preliminaries. Keogh escorted the artist
about town, introducing him to the little circle of
English-speaking residents and pulling whatever
wires he could to effect the spreading of White's
fame as a painter. And then Keogh planned a more
spectacular demonstration of the idea he wished to
keep before the public.
He and White engaged rooms in the Hotel de los
Estranjeros. The two were clad in new suits of
immaculate duck, with American straw hats, and
carried canes of remarkable uniqueness and inutility.
Few caballeros in Coralio — even the gorgeously
uniformed officers of the Anchurian army — were as
conspicuous for ease and elegance of demeanour as
Keogh and his friend, the great American painter,
White set up his easel on the beach and made strik-
ing sketches of the mountain and sea views. The
native population formed at his rear in a vast, chat-
tering semicircle to watch his work. Keogh, with
his care for details, had arranged for himself a pose
which he carried out with fidelity. His role was that
242 Cabbages and Kings
of friend to the great artist, a man of affairs and
leisure. The visible emblem of his position was a
" For branding the man who owns it," said 1m,
** a genteel dilettante with a bank account and an
easy conscience, a steam-yacht ain't in it with a
camera. You see a man doing nothing but loafing
around making snap-shots, and you know right away
he reads up well in * Bradstreet.' You notice these
old millionaire boys — soon as they get through
taking everything else in sight they go to taking
photographs. People are more impressed by a
kodak than they are by a title or a four-carat
scarf-pin." So Keogh strolled blandly about Co-
ralio, snapping the scenery and the shrinking
senoritas, while White posed conspicuously in the
higher regions of art.
Two weeks after their arrival, the scheme began to
bear fruit. An aide-de-camp of the president drove
to the hotel in a dashing victoria. The president
desired that Senor White come to the Casa Morena
for an informal interview.
Keogh gripped his pipe tightly between his teeth.
" Not a cent less than ten thousand," he said to the
artist — " remember the price. And in gold or its
Masters of Arts 243
equivalent — don't let him stick you with this bar-
gain-counter stuff they call money here."
** Perhaps it isn't that he wants," said White.
'* Get out ! " said Keogh, with splendid confidence.
*' I know what he wants. He wants his picture
painted by the celebrated young American painter
and filibuster now sojourning in his down-trodden
country. Off you go."
The victoria sped away with the artist. Keogh
walked up and down, puffing great clouds of smoke
from his pipe, and waited. In an hour the victoria
swept again to the door of the hotel, deposited White,
and vanished. The artist dashed up the stairs,
three at a step. Keogh stopped smoking, and be-
came a silent interrogation point.
" Landed," exclaimed White, with his boyish face
flushed with elation. " Billy, you are a wonder. He
wants a picture. I'll tell you all about it. By
Heavens! that dictator chap is a corker! He's a
dictator clear down to his finger-ends. He's a kind
of combination of Julius Caesar, Lucifer and Chaun-
cey Depew done in sepia. Polite and grim — that's
his way. The room I saw him in was about ten
acres big, and looked like a Mississippi steamboat
with its gilding and mirrors and white paint. He
244 Cabbages and Kings
talks English better than I can ever hope to. The
matter of the price came up. I mentioned ten thou-
sand. I expected him to call the guard and have
me taken out and shot. He didn't move an eyelash.
He just waved one of his chestnut hands in a careless
way, and said, * Whatever you say.' I am to go back
to-morrow and discuss with him the details of the
Keogh hung his head. Self-abasement was easy
to read in his downcast countenance.
" I'm failing. Carry," he said, sorrowfully. " I'm
not fit to handle these man's-size schemes any longer.
Peddling oranges in a push-cart is about the suitable
graft for me. When I said ten thousand, I swear I
thought I had sized up that brown man's limit to
within two cents. He'd have melted down for fifteen
thousand just as easy. Say — Carry — you'll see
old man Keogh safe in some nice, quiet idiot asylum,
won't you, if he makes a break like that again ? "
The Casa Morena, although only one story in
height, was a building of brown stone, luxurious as
a palace in its interior. It stood on a low hill in a
walled garden of splendid tropical flora at the upper
edge of Coralio. The next day the president's car-
riage came again for the artist. Keogh went out for
a walk along the beach, where he and his " picture
Masters of Arts 245
box " were now familiar sights. When he returned
to the hotel White was sitting in a steamer-chair on
** Well," said Keogh, " did you and His Nibs de-
cide on the kind of a chromo he wants ? "
White got up and walked back and forth on the
balcony a few times. Then he stopped, and laughed
strangely. His face was flushed, and his eyes were
bright with a kind of angry amusement.
** Look here, Billy," he said, somewhat roughly,
*' when you first came to me in my studio and men-
tioned a picture, I thought you wanted a Smashed
Oats or a Hair Tonic poster painted on a range of
mountains or the side of a continent. Well, either
of those jobs would have been Art in its highest form
compared to the one you've steered me against. I
can't paint that picture, Billy. You've got to let me
out. Let me try to tell you what that barbarian
wants. He had it all planned out and even a sketch
made of his idea. The old boy doesn't draw badly
at all. But, ye goddesses of Art! listen to the mon-
strosity he expects me to paint. He wants himself
in the centre of the canvas, of course. He is to be
painted as Jupiter sitting on Olympus, with the
clouds at his feet. At one side of him stands George
Washington, in full regimentals, with his hand on the
246 Cabbages and Kings
president's shoiilder. An angel with outstretched
wings hovers overhead, and is placing a laurel wreath
on the president's head, crowning him — Queen of
the May, I suppose. In the background is to be
cannon, more angels and soldiers. The man who
would paint that picture would have to have the soul
of a dog, and would deserve to go down into oblivion
without even a tin can tied to his tail to sound his
Little beads of moisture crept out all over Billy
Keogh's brow. The stub of his blue pencil had not
figured out a contingency like this. The machinery
of his plan had run with flattering smoothness until
now. He dragged another chair upon the balcony,
and got White back to his seat. He lit his pipe with
" Now, sonny," he said, with gentle grimness,
** you and me will have an Art to Art talk; You've
got your art and I've got mine. Yours is the real
Pierian stuff that turns up its nose at bock-beer signs
and oleographs of the Old Mill. Mine's the art of
Business. This was my scheme, and it worked out
like two-and-two. Paint that president man as Old
King Cole, or Venus, or a landscape, or a fresco, or
a bunch of lilies, or anything he thinks he looks like.
But get the paint on the canvas and collect the spoils.
Masters of Arts 247
You wouldn't throw me down, Carry, at this stage
of the game. Think of that ten thousand."
" I can't help thinking of it," said White, " and
that's what hurts. I'm tempted to throw every ideal
I ever had down in the mire, and steep my soul in
infamy by painting that picture. That five thou-
sand meant three years of foreign study to me, and
I'd almost sell my soul for that."
" Now it ain't as bad as that," said Keogh, sooth-
ingly. " It's a business proposition. It's so much
paint and time against money. I don't fall in with
your idea that that i-icluie wcuM so everlastingly
jolt the art side of the questior George Washing-
ton was all right, you know, and nobody could say
a word against the angel. I don't think so bad of
that group. If you was to give Jupiter a pair of
epaulets and a sword, and kind of work the clouds
around to look like a blackberry patch, it wouldn't
make such a bad battle scene. Why, if we hadn't
already settled on the price, he ought to pay an extra
thousand for Washington, and the angel ought to
raise it five hundred."
" You don't understand, Billy," said White, with ^
an uneasy laugh. " Some of us fellows whb try to
paint have big notions about Art. I wanted to paint
a picture some day that people would stand before
248 Cabbages and Kings
and forget that it was made of paint. I wanted it to
creep into them like a bar of music and mushroom
there like a soft bullet. And I wanted 'em to go
away and ask, *What else has he done?' And I
didn't want 'em to find a thing; not a portrait nor
a magazine cover nor an illustration nor a drawing
of a girl — nothing but the picture. That's why
I've lived on fried sausages, and tried to keep true to
myself. I persuaded myself to do this portrait for
the chance it might give me to study abroad. But
this howling, screaming caricature! Good Lord!
can't you see how it is ? "
" Sure," said Keogh, as tenderly as he would have
spoken to a child, and he laid a long forefinger on
White's knee. " I see. It's bad to have your art
all slugged up like that. I know. You wanted to
paint a big thing like the panorama of the battle of
Gettysburg. But let me kalsomine you a little men-
tal sketch to consider. Up to date we're out $385.50
on this scheme. Our capital took every cent both
of us could raise. We've got about enough left to
get back to New York on. I need my share of that
ten thousand. I want to work a copper deal in
Idaho, and make a hundred thousand. That's the
business end of the thing. Come down off your arc
perch, Carry, and let's land that hatful of dollars."
Masters of Arts 249
" Billy,'' said White, with an effort, " I'll try. I
won't say I'll do it, but I'll try. I'll go at it, and
put it through if I can."
** That's business," said Keogh, heartily. " Good
boy ! Now, here's another thing — rush that pic-
ture — crowd it through as quick as you can. Get a
couple of boys to help you mix the paint if neces-
sary. I've picked up some pointers around town.
The people here are beginning to get sick of Mr.
President. They say he's been too free with conces-
sions ; and they accuse him of trying to make a dicker
with England to sell out the country. We want that
picture done and paid for before there's any row."
In the great patio of Casa Morena, the president
caused to be stretched a huge canvas. Under this
White set up his temporary studio. For two hours
each day the great man sat to him.
White worked faithfully. But, as the work pro-
gressed, he had seasons of bitter scorn, of infinite
self-contempt, of sullen gloom and sardonic gaiety.
Keogh, with the patience of a great general, soothed,
coaxed, argued — kept him at the picture.
At the end of a month White announced that
the picture was completed — Jupiter, Washington,
angels, clouds, cannon and all. His face was pale
and his mouth drawn straight when he told Keogh.
250 Cabbages and Kings
He said the president was much pleased with it. It
was to be hung in the National Gallery of Statesmen
and Heroes. The artist had been requested to return
to Casa Morena on the following day to receive pay-
ment. At the appointed time he left the hotel, silent
under his friend's joyful talk of their success.
An hour later he walked into the room where
Keogh was waiting, threw his hat on the floor, and
sat upon the table.
" Billy," he said, in strained and labouring tones,
** I've a little money out West in a small business that
my brother is running. It's what I've been living on
while I've been studying art. I'll draw out my
share and pay you back what you've lost on this
" Lost ! " exclaimed Keogh, jumping up. " Didn't
you get paid for the picture? "
" Yes, I got paid," said White. " But just now
there isn't any picture, and there isn't any pay. If
you care to hear about it, here are the edifying de-
tails. The president and I were looking at the
painting. His secretary brought & bank draft on
New York for ten thousand dollars and handed it to
me. The moment I touched it I went wild. I tore
it into little pieces and threw them on the floor. A
workman was repainting the pillars inside the patio.
Masters of Arts 251
A bucket of his paint happened to be convenient. I
picked up his brush and slapped a quart of blue paint
all over that ten-thousand-dollar nightmare. I
bowed, and walked out. The president didn't move
or speak. That was one time he was taken by sur-
prise. It's tough on you, Billy, but I couldn't help
There seemed to be excitement in Coralio. Out-
side there was a confused, rising murmur pierced by
high-pitched cries. " Bajo el traidor — Muerte el
traidor! " were the words they seemed to form.
" Listen to that ! " exclaimed White, bitterly ; " I
know that much Spanish. They're shouting,
* Down with the traitor ! ' I heard them before. I
felt that they meant me. I was a traitor to Art.
The picture had to go."
" * Down with the blank fool ' would have suited
your case better," said Keogh, with fiery emphasis.
" You tear up ten thousand dollars like an old rag
because the way you've spread on five dollars' worth
of paint hurts your conscience. Next time I pick a
side-partner in a scheme the man has got to go be-
fore a notary and swear he never even heard the
word ' ideal ' mentioned."
Keogh strode from the room, white-hot. White
paid little attention to his resentment. The scorn of
252 Cabbages and Kings
Billy Keogh seemed a trifling thing beside the greater
self'scom he had escaped.^
In Coralio the excitement waxed. An outburst
was imminent. The cause of this demonstration of
displeasure was the presence in the town of a big,
pink-cheeked Englishman, who, it was said, was an
agent of his government come to clinch the bargain
by which the president placed his people in the hands
of a foreign power. It was charged that not only
had he given away priceless concessions, but that the
public debt was to be transferred into the hands of
the English, and "the custom-houses turned over to
them as a guarantee. The long-enduring people had
determined to make their protest felt.
On that night, in Coralio and in other towns, their
ire found vent. Yelling mobs, mercurial but dan-
gerous, roamed the streets. They overthrew the
great bronze statue of the president that stood in the
centre of the plaza, and hacked it to shapeless pieces.
They tore from public buildings the tablets set there
proclaiming the glory of the " Illustrious Liberator."
His pictures in the government offices were demol-
ished/ The mobs even attacked the Casa Morena,
but were driven away by the military, which re-
mained faithful to the executive, All the night terror
Masters of Arts 253
The greatness of Losada was shown by the fact
that by noon the next day order was restored, and
he was still absolute. He issued proclamations
denying positively that any negotiation of any kind
had been entered into with England. Sir Stafford
Vaughn, the pink-cheeked Englishman, also declared
in placards and in public print that his presence
there had no international significance. He was a
traveller without guile. In fact (so he stated), he
had not even spoken with the president or been in his
presence since his arrival.
During this disturbance, White was preparing for
his homeward voyage in the steamship that was to
sail within two or three days. About noon, Keogh,
the restless, took his camera out with the hope of
speeding the lagging hours. The town was now as
quiet as if peace had never departed from her perch
on the red-tiled roofs.
About the middle of the afternoon, Keogh hurried
back to the hotel with something decidedly special
in his air. He retired to the little room where he
developed his pictures.
Later on he came out to White on the balcony,
with a luminous, grim, predatory smile on his face.
"Do you know what that is?" he asked, holding
up a 4 X 5 photograph mounted on cardboard.
254 Cabbages and Kings
** Snap-shot of a senorlta sitting in the sand —
alliteration unintentional," guessed White, lazily.
" Wrong," said Keogh with shining eyes. " It's
a slung-shot. It's a can of dynamite. It's a gold
mine. It's a sight-draft on your president man for
twenty thousand dollars — yes, sir — twenty thou-
sand this time, and no spoiling the picture. No
ethics of art in the way. Art! You with your
smelly little tubes! I've got you skinned to death
with a kodak. Take a look at that."
White took the picture in his hand, and gave a
" Jove ! " he exclaimed, " but wouldn't that stir up
a row in town if you let it be seen. How in the world
did you get it, Billy?"
" You know that high wall around the president
man's back garden? I was up there trying to get
a bird's-eye of the town. I happened to notice a
chink in the wall where a stone and a lot of plaster
had slid out. Thinks I, I'll take a peep through to
see how Mr. President's cabbages are growing. The
first thing I saw was him and this Sir Englishman
sitting at a little table about twenty feet away. They
had the table all spread over with documents, and
they were hobnobbing over them as thick as two
pirates. 'Twas a nice comer of the garden, all pri-
Masters of Arts 255
vate and shady with palms and orange trees, and
they had a pail of champagne set by handy in the
grass. I knew then was the time for me to make my
big hit in Art. So I raised the machine up to the
crack, and pressed the button. Just as I did so them
old boys shook hands on the deal — you see they
took that way in the picture.*'
Keogh put on his coat and hat.
" What are you going to do with it ? " asked
" Me," said Keogh in a hurt tone, " why, I'm
going to tie a pink ribbon to It and hang it on the
what-not, of course. I'm surprised at you. But
while I'm out you just try to figure out what ginger-
cake potentate would be most likely to want to buy
this work of art for his private collection — just to
keep it out of circulation."
The sunset was reddening the tops of the cocoanut
palms when Billy Keogh came back from Casa Mo-
rena. He nodded to the artist's questioning gaze;
and lay down on a cot with his hands under the back
of his head.
" I saw him. He paid the money like a little man.
They didn't want to let me in at first. I told 'em it
was important. Yes, that president man is on the
plenty-able list. He's got a beautiful business sys-
256 Cabbages and Kings
tern about the way he uses his brains. All I had to
do was to hold up the photograph so he could see it,
and name the price. He just smiled, and walked
over to a safe and got the cash. Twenty one-thou-
sand-dollar brand-new United States Treasury notes
he laid on the table, like I'd pay out a dollar and a
quarter. Fine notes, too — they crackled with a
sound like burning the brush off a ten-acre lot."
** Let's try the feel of one," said White, curiously.
** I never saw a thousand-dollar bill." Keogh did
not immediately respond.
** Carry," he said, in an absent-minded way, " you
think a heap of your art, don't you? "
** More," said White, frankly, " than has been for
the financial good of myself and my friends."
** I thought you were a fool the other day," went
on Keogh, quietly, " and I'm not sure now that you
wasn't. But if you was, so am I. I've been in some
funny deals, Carry, but I've always managed to
scramble fair, and match my brains and capital
against the other fellow's. But when it comes to —
well, when you've got the other fellow cinched, and
the screws on him, and he's got to put up — why, it
don't strike me as being a man's game. They've got
a name for it, you know ; it's — confound you, don't
you understand. A fellow feels — it's something like
Masters of Arts 2517
that blamed art of yours — he — well, I tore that
photograph up and laid the pieces on that stack of
money and shoved the whole business back across the
table. * Excuse me, Mr. Losada,' I said, * but I
guess IVe made a mistake in the price. You get the
photo for nothing.' Now, Carry, you get out the
pencil, and we'll do some more figuring. I'd like to
save enough out of our capital for you to have some
fried sausages in your joint when you get back to
There is Uttle consecutlveness along the Spanish
Main. Things happen there intermittently. Even
Time seems to hang his scythe daily on the branch of
an orange tree while he takes a siesta and a cigarette.
After the ineffectual revolt against the administra-
tion of President Losada, the country settled again
into quiet toleration of the abuses with which he had
been charged. In Coralio old political enemies went
arm-in-arm, lightly eschewing for the time all differ-
ences of opinion.
The failure of the art expedition did not stretch the
cat- footed Keogh upon his back. The ups and downs
of Fortune made smooth travelling for his nimble
steps. His blue pencil stub was at work again be-
fore the smoke of the steamer on which White sailed
had cleared away from the horizon^ He had but to
speak a word to Geddie to find his credit negotiable
for whatever goods he wanted from the store of
Brannigan & Company. On the same day on which
White arrived in New York Keogh, at the rear of a
train of five pack mules loaded with hardware and
cutlery, set his face toward the grim, interior moun-
tains. There the Indian tribes wash gold dust from
the auriferous streams ; and when a market is brought
to them trading is brisk and muy bueno in the Cor-
In Coralio Time folded his wings and paced wearily
along his drowsy path. They who had most cheered
the torpid hours were gone. Clancy had sailed on a
Spanish barque for Colon, contemplating a cut across
the isthmus and then a further voyage to end at
Callao, where the fighting was said to be on. Geddie,
whose quiet and genial nature had once served to
mitigate the frequent dull reaction of lotus eating,
was now a home-man, happy with his bright orchid,
Paula, and never even dreaming of or regretting the
unsolved, sealed and monogramed Bottle whose con-
tents, now inconsiderable, were held safely in the keep-
ing of the sea.
Well may the Walrus, most discerning and eclectic
of beasts, place sealing-wax midway on his pro-
gramme of topics that fall pertinent and diverting
upon the ear.
Atwood was gone — he of the hospitable back
porch and ingenuous cunning. Dr. Gregg, with his
260 Cabbages and Kings
trepanning story smouldering within him, was a
whiskered volcano, always showing signs of immi-
nent eruption, and was not to be considered in the
ranks of those who might contribute to the ameliora-
tion of ennui. The new consul's note chimed with
the sad sea waves and the violent tropical greens —
he had not a bar of Scheherezade or of the Round
Table in his lute. Goodwin was employed with
large projects: what time he was loosed from them
found him at his home, where he loved to be. There-
fore it will be seen that there was a dearth of fellow-
ship and entertainment among the foreign contingent
And then Dicky Maloney dropped down from the
clouds upon the town, and amused it.
Nobody knew where Dicky Maloney hailed from
or how he reached Coralio. He appeared there one
day; and that was all. He afterward said that he
came on the fruit steamer Thor; but an inspection
of the Thorns passenger list of that date was found
to be Maloneyless. Curiosity, however, soon per-
ished; and Dicky took his place among the odd fish
cast up by the Caribbean.
He was an active, devil-may-care, rollicking fellow
with an engaging gray eye, the most irresistible grin,
a rather dark or much sunburned complexion, and a
head of the fieriest red hair ever seen in that country.
Speaking the Spanish language as well as he spoke
English, and seeming always to have plenty of silver
in his pockets, it was not long before he was a wel-
come companion whithersoever he went. He had an
extreme fondness for vino blancOy and gained the rep-
utation of being able to drink more of it than any
three men in town. Everybody called him " Dicky " ;
everybody cheered up at the sight of him — especially
the natives, to whom his marvellous red hair and his
free-and-easy style were a constant delight and envy.
Wherever you went in the town you would soon see
Dicky or hear his genial laugh, and find around him a
group of admirers who appreciated him both for his
good nature and the white wine he was always so
ready to buy.
A considerable amount of speculation was had con-
cerning the object of his sojourn there, until one day
he silenced this by opening a small shop for the sale
of tobacco, dulces and the handiwork of the interior
Indians — fibre-and-silk-woven goods, deerskin za-
patos and basketwork of tule reeds. Even then he
did not change his habits; for he was drinking and
playing cards half the day and night with the coman-
dante, the collector of customs, the Jefe Politico and
other gay dogs among the native officials,
262 Cabbages and Kings
One day Dicky saw Fasa, the daughter of
Madama Ortiz, sitting in the side-door of the Hotel
des los Estranjeros. He stopped in his tracks, still,
for the first time in Coralio ; and then he sped, swift
as a deer, to find Vasquez, a gilded native youth, to
The young men had named Pasa ** La Santita
Naranjadita.** Naranjadita is a Spanish word for
a certain colour that you must go to more trouble to
describe in English. By saying « The Uttle saint,
tinted the most beautiful-delicate-slightly-Drange-
golden," you will approximate the description of
Madama Ortiz's daughter.
La Madama Ortiz sold rum in addition to other
liquors. Now, you must know that the rum expiates
whatever opprobrium attends upon ^he other com-
modities. For rum-making, mind you, is a govern-
ment monopoly; and to keep a government dispen-
sary assures respectability if not preeminence.
Moreover, the saddest of precisians could find no
fault with the conduct of the shop. Customers drank
there in the lowest of spirits and fearsomely, as in the
shadow of the dead; for Madama's ancient and
vaunted lineage counteracted even the rum's behest
to be merry. For, was she not of the Iglesias, who
landed with Pizarro ? And had not her deceased hus-
band been comisionado de caminos y puentes for the
In the evenings Pasa sat by the window in the room
next to the one where they drank, and strummed
dreamily upon her guitar. And then, by twos and
threes, would come visiting young caballeros and oc-
cupy the prim line of chairs set against the wall of this
room. They were there to besiege the heart of " La
Santita.'* Their method (which is not proof against
intelligent competition) consisted of expanding the
chest, looking valorous, and consuming a gross or two
of cigarettes. Even saints delicately ©ranged pre-
fer to be wooed differently.
Dona Pasa would tide over the vast chasms of nico-
tinized silence wjth music from her guitar, while she
wondered if the romances she had read about gallant
and more — more contiguous cavaliers were all lies.
At somewhat regular intervals Madama would glide
in from the dispensary with a sort of drought-sug-
gesting gleam in her eye, and there would be a
rustling of stiffly-starched white trousers as one of
the caballeros would propose an adjournment to the
That Dicky Maloney would, sooner or later, ex-
ibbages and Kings
w&s a thing to be foreseen. There
L Coralio into which his red head had
ly short space of time after his first
as there, seated close beside her rock-
ere were no back-against-the-wall
theory of wooing. His plan of sub-
ttack at close range. To carry the
e concentrated, ardent, eloquent, ir-
e — that was Dicky's way.
cended from the proudest Spanish
Duntry. Moreover, she had had un-
is. Two years in a New Orleans
ted her ambitions and fitted her for
le ordinary maidens of her native
here she succumbed to the first red-
ith a glib tongue and a charming
along and courted her properly,
ky took her to the little church on the
zsLy and " Mrs. Maloney " was added
r fate to sit, with her patient, saintly
like a bisque Psyche, behind the se-
r of the little shop, whife Dicky drank
with his frivolous acquaintances,
nth their naturally fine instinct, saw
a chance for vivisection, and delicately taunted her
with his habits. She turned upon them in a beauti-
ful, steady blaze of sorrowful contempt.
" You meat-cows," she said, in her level, crystal-
clear tones ; " you know nothing of a man. Your
men Sire maromeros. They are fit only to roll cigar-
ettes in the shade until the sun strikes and shrivels
them up. They drone in your hammocks and you
comb their hair and feed them with fresh fruit. My
man is of no such blood. Let him drink of the wine.
When he has taken sufficient of it to drown one of
your flaccitos he will come home to me more of a man
than one thousand of your pobrecitos. My hair he
smooths and braids; to me he sings; he himself re-
moves my zapatoSy and there, there, upon each instep
leaves a kiss. He holds — Oh, you will never un-
derstand! Blind ones who have never known a
Sometimes mysterious things happened at night
about Dicky's shop. While the front of it was dark,
in the little room back of it Dicky and a few of his
friends would sit about a table carrying on some kind
of very quiet negocios until quite late. Finally he
would let them out the front door very carefully, and
go upstairs to his little saint. These visitors were
generally conspirator-like men with dark clothes and
266 Cabbages and Kings
hats. Of course, these dark doings were noticed
after a while, and talked about.
Dicky seemed to care nothing at all for the society
of the alien residents of the town. He avoided Good-
win, and his skilful escape from the trepanning story
of Dr. Gregg is still referred to, in Coralio, as a mas-
terpiece of lightning diplomacy.
Many letters arrived, addressed to " Mr. Dicky
Maloney,*' or " Senor Dickee Maloney," to the con-
siderable pride of Pasa. That so many people should
desire to write to him only confirmed her own sus-
picion that the light from his red head shone around
the world. As to their contents she never felt curi-
osity. There was a wife for you !
The one mistake Dicky made in Coralio was to run
out of money at the wrong time. Where his money
came from was a puzzle, for the sales of his shop were
next to nothing, but that source failed, and at a pe-
culiarly unfortunate time. It was when the coman-
dante, Don Senoi^ el Coronel Encamacion Rios,
looked upon the little saint seated in the shop and
felt his heart go pitapat.
The comandantey who was versed in all the intri-
cate arts of gallantry, first delicately hinted at his
sentiments by donning his dress uniform and strut-
ting up and down fiercely before her window. Pasa,
glancing demurely with her saintly eyes, instantly
perceived his resemblance to her parrot, Chichi, and
was diverted to the extent of a smile. The coman-
dante saw the smile, which was not intended for him.
Convinced of an impression made, he entered the shop,
confidently, and advanced to open compliment. Pasa
froze ; he pranced ; she flamed royally ; he was charmed
to injudicious persistence; she commanded him to
leave the shop ; he tried to capture her hand, and —
Dicky entered, smiling broadly, full of white wine and
He spent five minutes in punishing the comandante
scientifically and carefully, so that the pain might be
prolonged as far as possible. At the end of that time
he pitched the rash wooer out the door upon the
stones of the street, senseless.
A barefooted policeman who had bee.i watching
the affair from across the street blew a whistle. A
squad of four soldiers came running from the cuartel
around the comer. When they saw that the offender
was Dicky, they stopped, and blew more whistles,
which brought out reenforcements of eight. Deem-
ing the odds against them sufficiently reduced, the
military advanced upon the disturber.
Dicky, being thoroughly imbued with the martial
spirit, stooped and drew the comandante^ s sword,
268 Cabbages and Kings
which was girded about him, and charged his foe.
He chased the standing army four squares, playfully
prodding its squealing rear and hacking at its ginger-
But he was not so successful with the civic authori-
ties. Six muscular, nimble policemen overpowered
him and conveyed him, triumphantly but warily, to
jail. " El Diablo Colorado " they dubbed him, and
derided the militarv for its defeat.
Dicky, with the rest of the prisoners, could look out
through the barred door at the grass of the little plaza,
at a row of orange trees and the red tile roofs and
'dobe walls of a line of insignificant stores.
At sunset along a path across this plaza came a
melancholy procession of sad-faced women bearing
plantains, cassaba, bread and fruit — each coming
with food to some wretch behind those bars to whom
she still clung and furnished the means of life. Twice
a day — morning and evening — they were permitted
to come. Water was furnished to her compulsory
guests by the republic, but no food.
That evening Dicky's name was called by the
sentry, and he stepped before the bars of the door.
There stood his little saint, a black mantilla draped
about her head and shoulders, her face like glorified
melancholy, her clear eyes gazing longingly at him as
if they might draw him between the bars to her. She
brought a chicken, some oranges, dulces and a loaf of
white bread. A soldier inspected the food, and passed
it in to Dicky. Pasa spoke calmly, as she always
did, briefly, in her thrilling, flute-like tones. " An-
gel of my life," she said, " let it not be long that
thou art away from me. Thou knowest that life is not
a thing to be endured with thou not at my side. Tell
me if I can do aught in this matter. If not, I will
wait — a little while. I come again in the morn-
Dicky, with his shoes removed so as not to disturb
his fellow prisoners, tramped the floor of the jail half
the night condemning his lack of money and the
cause of it — whatever that might have been. He
knew very well that money would have bought his re-
lease at once.
For two days succeeding Pasa came at the ap-
pointed times and brought him food. He eagerly in-
quired each time if a letter or package had come for
him, and she mournfully shook her head.
On the morning of the third day she brought only
a small loaf of bread. There were dark circles under
her eyes. She seemed as calm as ever.
" By jingo," said Dicky, who seemed to speak in
English or Spanish as the whim seized him, " this is
270 Cabbages and Kings
dry provender, muchachita. Is this the best you can
dig up for a fellow? "
Fasa looked at him as a mother looks at a beloved
but capricious babe.
" Think better of it,'' she said, In a low voice ;
** since for the next meal there will be nothing. The
last centavo Is spent." She pressed closer against
" Sell the goods in the shop — take anything for
** Have I not tried? Did I not offer them for one-
tenth their cost? Not even one peso would any one
give. There Is not one real In this town to assist
Dick clenched his teeth grimly. ** That's the
comandante^'* he growled. ** He's responsible for
that sentiment. Wait, oh, wait till the cards are all
Fasa lowered her voice to almost a whisper. ** And,
listen, heart of my heart," she said, " I have en-
deavoured to be brave, but I cannot live without thee.
Three days now — "
Dicky caught a faint gleam of steel from the folds
of her mantilla. For once she looked In his face and
saw it without a smile, stem, menacing and purpose-
ful. Then he suddenly raised his hand and his smile
came back like a gleam of sunshine. The hoarse sig-
nal of an Incoming steamer's siren sounded in the har-
bour. Dicky called to the sentry who was pacing
before the door: " What steamer comes? "
" The Catarina,''
"Of the Vesuvius line?"
" Without doubt, of that line."
" Go you, picarillay** said Dicky joyously to Pasa,
" to the American consul. Tell him I wish to speak
with him. See that he comes at once. And look vou !
let me see a different look in those eyes, for I promise
your head shall rest upon this arm to-night."
It was an hour before the consul came. He held
his green umbrella under his arm, and mopped his
" Now, see here, Maloney," he began, captiously,
" you fellows seem to think you can cut up any kind
of row, and expect me to pull you out of it. I'm
neither the War Department nor a gold mine. This
country has its laws, you know, and there's one
against pounding the senses out of the regular army.
You Irish are forever getting into trouble. I don't see
what I can do. Anything like tobacco, now, to make
you comfortable — or newspapers — "
" Son of Eli," interrupted Dicky, gravely, " you
haven't changed an iota. That is almost a duplicate
272 Cabbages and Kings
of the speech you made when old Koen's donkeys and
geese got into the chapel loft, and the culprits wanted
to hide in your room."
" Oh, heavens ! " exclaimed the consul, hurriedly
adjusting his spectacles. "Are you a Yale man,
too? Were you in that crowd? I don't seem to re-
member any one with red — any one named Maloney.
Such a lot of college men seem to have misused their
advantages. One of the best mathematicians of the
class of '91 is selling lottery tickets in Belize. A
Cornell man dropped off here last month. He was
second steward on a guano boat. I'll write to the de-
partment if you like, Maloney. Or if there's any to-
bacco, or newspa — ^"
" There's nothing," interrupted Dicky, shortly,
" but this. You go tell the captain of the Catarina
that Dicky Maloney wants to see him as soon as
he can conveniently come. Tell him where I am.
Hurry. That's aU."
The consul, glad to be let off so easily, hurried
away. The captain of the Catarina^ a stout man,
Sicilian bom, soon appeared, shoving, with little cere-
mony, through the guards to the jail door. The
Vesuvius Fruit Company had a habit of doing things
that way in Anchuria.
** I am exceeding sorry — exceeding sorry," said
the captain, " to see this occur. I place myself at
your service, Mr. Maloney. What you need shall
be furnished. Whatever you say shall be done."
Dicky looked at him unsmlllngly. His red hair
could not detract from his attitude of severe dignity
as he stood, tall and calm, with his now grim mouth
forming a horizontal line.
" Captain De Lucco, I believe I still have funds In
the hands of your company — ample and personal
funds. I ordered a remittance last week. The money
has not arrived. You know what is needed in this
game. Money and money and more money. Why
has it not been sent ? "
'* By the Cristobal,^^ replied De Lucco, gesticulat-
ing, " it was despatched. Where Is the Cristobal?
Off Cape Antonio I spoke her with a broken shaft.
A tramp coaster was towing her back to New Orleans.
I brought money ashore thinking your need for it
might not withstand delay. In this envelope is one
thousand dollars. There is more if you need it, Mr.
" For the present It will suffice," said Dicky, soft-
ening as he crinkled the envelope and looked down at
the half-Inch thickness of smooth, dingy bills.
" The long green [ ''* he said, gently, with a new
274 Cabbages and Kings
reverence in his gaze. " Is there anything it will not
buy, Captain ? '*
" I had three friends," replied De Lucco, who was
a bit of a philosopher, " who had money. One of
them speculated in stocks and made ten million; an-
other is in heaven, and the third married a poor girl
whom he loved."
" The answer, then," said Dicky, " is held by the
Almighty, Wall Street and Cupid. So, the question
" This," queried the captain, including Dicky's
surroundings in a significant gesture of his hand, ^' is
it — it is not — it is not connected with the business
of your little shop? There is no failure in your
plans ? "
" No, no," said Dicky. " This is merely the result
of a little private affair of mine, a digression from
the regular line of business. They say for a complete
life a man must know poverty, love and war. But
they don't go well together, capitdn mio. No ; there
is no failure in my business. The little shop is doing
\Mien the captain had departed Dicky called the
sergeant of the jail squad and asked:
" Am I preso by the military or by the civil au-
** Surely there is no martial law In effect now.
Bueno. Now go or send to the alcalde, the Juez
de la Paz and the Jefe de los Policios, Tell them I
am prepared at once to satisfy the demands of justice.
A folded bill of the " long green " slid Into the ser-
Then Dicky's smile came back again, for he knew
that the hours of his captivity were numbered ; and he
hummed; in time with the sentry's tread:
TheyWe hanging men and women now.
For lacking of the green,**
So, that night Dicky sat by the window of the room
over his shop and his little saint sat close by, working
at something silken and dainty. Dicky was thought-
ful and grave. His red hair was in an unusual state
of disorder. Pasa's fingers often ached to smooth
and arrange it, but Dicky would never allow it. He
was poring, to-night, over a great litter of maps and
books and papers on his table until that perpendic-
ular line came between his brows that always dis-
tressed Pasa. Presently she went and brought his
hat, and stood with it until he looked up, inquiringly.
" It is sad for you here," she explained. " Go out
276 Cabbages and Kings
and drink vino bianco. Come back when you get that
smile you used to wear. That is what I wish to
Dicky laughed and threw down his papers. " The
vino bianco stage is past. It has served its turn.
Perhaps, after all, there was less entered my mouth
and more my ears than people thought. But, there
will be no more maps or frowns to-night, I promise
you that. Come."
They sat upon a reed siUeta at the window and
watched the quivering gleams from the lights of the
Catarina reflected in the harbour.
Presently Pasa rippled out one of her infrequent
chirrups of audible laughter.
" I was thinking," she began, anticipating Dicky's
question, " of the foolish things girls have in their
minds. Because I went to school in the States I used
to have ambitions.' Nothing less than to be the pres-
ident's wife would satisfy me. And, look, thou red
picaroon, to what obscure fate thou hast stolen me ! "
" Don't give up hope," said Dicky, smiling.
** More than one Irishman has been the ruler of a
South American country. There was a dictator of
Chili named O'Higgins. Why not a President Ma-
loney, of Anchuria? Say the word, santita miay and
we'll make the race."
" No, no, no, thou red-haired, reckless one ! *'
sighed Pasa ; " I am content '* — she laid her head
against his arm — " here."
ROUGE ET NOIR
It has been indicated that disaffection, followed the
elevation of Losada to the presidency. This feeling
continued to grow. Throughout the entire republic
there seemed to be a spirit of silent, sulle^ discontent.
Even the old Liberal party to which Goodwin,
Zavalla and other patriots had lent their aid was dis-
appointed. Losada had failed to become a popular
idol. Fresh taxes, fresh import duties and, more
than all, his tolerance of the outrageous oppression
of citizens by the military had rendered him the most
obnoxious president since the despicable Alforan.
The majority of his own cabinet were out of sympathy
with him. The army, which he had courted by giving
it license to tyrannize, had been his main, and thus
far adequate support.
But the most impolitic of the administration's
moves had been when it antagonized the Vesuvius
Fruit Company, an organization plying twelve steam-
Rouge et Noir 279
ers and with a cash capital somewhat larger than An-
churia's surplus and debt combined.
Reasonably, an established concern like the Vesu-
vius would become irritated at having a small, retail
republic with no rating at all attempt to squeeze it.
So, when the government proxies applied for a sub-
sidy they encountered a polite refusal. The presi-
dent at once retaliated by clapping an export duty
of one real per bunch on bananas — a thing unprece-
dented in fruit-growing countries. The Vesuvius
Company had invested large sums in wharves and
plantations along the Anchurian coast, their agents
had erected fine homes in the towns where they had
their headquarters, and heretofore had worked with
the republic in good-will and with advantage to both.
It would lose an immense sum if compelled to move
out. The selling price of bananas from Vera Cruz
to Trinidad .was three reals per bunch. This new
duty of one real would have ruined the fruit growers
in Anchuria and have seriously discommoded the
Vesuvius Company had it declined to pay it. But
for some reason, the Vesuvius continued to buy An-
churian fruit, paying four reals for it ; and not suffer-
ing the growers to bear the loss.
This apparent victory deceived His Excellency;
280 Cabbages and Kings
and he began to hunger for more of it. He sent an
emissary to request a conference with a represent-
ative of the fruit company. The V^uvius sent Mr.
Franzoni, a little, stout, cheerful man, always cool,
and whistling airs from Verdi's operas. Senor Espi-
rition, of the office of the Minister of Finance, at-
tempted the sandbagging in behalf of Anchuria. The
meeting took place in the cabin of the Salvadory of
the Vesuvius line.
Seiior Espirition opened negotiations by announc-
ing that the government contemplated the building
of a railroad to skirt the alluvial coast lands. After
touching upon the benefits such a road would confer
upon the interests of the Vesuvius, he reached the
definite suggestion that a contribution to the road's
expenses of, say, fifty thousand pesos would not be
more than an equivalent to benefits received.
Mr. Franzoni denied that his company would re-
ceive any benefits from a contemplated road. As
its representative he must decline to contribute fifty
thousand pesos. But he would assume the respon-
sibility of offering twenty-five.
Did Seiior Espirition understand Seiior Franzoni
to mean twenty-five thousand pesos?.
By no means. Twenty-five pesos. And in silver;
not in gold.
Rouge et Noir 281
" Your offer insults my government," cried Seiior
Espirition, rising, with indignation.
" Then," said Mr. Franzoni, in warning tone, " we
will change it.'*
The offer was never changed. Could Mr. Fran-
zoni have meant the government?
This was the state of affairs in Anchuria when
the winter season opened at Coralio at the end of the
second year of Losada's administration. So, when
the government and society made its annual exodus
to the seashore it was evident that the presidential
advent would not be celebrated by unlimited rejoic-
ing. The tenth of November was the day set for the
entrance into Coralio of the gay company from the
capital. A narrow-gauge railroad runs twenty miles
into the interior from Solitas. The government
party travels by carriage from San Mateo to this
road's terminal point, and proceeds by train to Soli-
tas. From here they march in grand procession to
Coralio where, on the day of their coming, festivities
and ceremonies abound. But this season saw an
ominous dawning of the tenth of November.
Although the rainy season was over, the day seemed
to hark back to reeking June. A fine drizzle of rain
fell all during the forenoon. The procession entered
Coralio amid a strange silence.
282 Cabbages and Kings
President Losada was an elderly man, grizzly
bearded, with a considerable ratio of Indian blood
revealed in his cinnamon complexion. His carriage
headed the procession, surrounded and guarded by
Captain Cruz and his famous troop of one hundred
light horse " El Ciento HuUando.** Colonel Rocas
followed, with a regiment of the regular army.
The president's sharp, beady eyes glanced about
him for the expected demonstration of welcome; but
he faced a stolid, indifferent array of citizens. Sight-
seers the Anchurians are by birth and habit, and they
turned out to their last able-bodied unit to witness
the scene; but thev maintained an accusive silence.
They crowded the streets to the very wheel ruts ; they
covered the red tile roofs to the eaves, but there was
never a " viva *' from them. No wreaths of palm
and lemon branches or gorgeous strings of paper
roses hung from the windows and balconies as was
the custom. There was an apathy, a dull, dissent-
ing disapprobation, that was the more ominous be-
cause it puzzled. No one feared an outburst, a re-
volt of the discontents, for they had no leader. The
president and those loyal t^ him had never even heard
whispered a name among ^hem capable of crystal-
lizing the dissatisfaction into opposition. No, there
Rouge et Noir 283
could be no danger. The people always procured a
new idol before they destroyed an old one.
At length, after a prodigious galloping and curvet-
ting of red-sashed majors, gold-laccd colonels and
epauletted generals, the procession formed for its an-
nual progress down the Calle Grande to the Casa
Morena, where the ceremony of welcome to the visit-
ing president always took place.
The Swiss band led the line of march. After it
pranced the local comandanie^ mounted, and a de-
tachment of his troops. Next came a carriage with
four members of the cabinet, conspicuous among
them the Minister of War, old General Pilar, with his
white moustache and his soldierly bearing. Then
the president's vehicle, containing also the Ministers
of Finance and State; and surrounded by Captain
Cruz's light horse formed in a close double file of
fours. Following them, the rest of the officials of
state, the judges and distinguished military and social
ornaments of public and private life.
As the band struck up, and the movement began,
like a bird of ill-omen the Valhalla^ the swiftest steam-
ship of the Vesuvius line, glided into the harbour in
plain view of the president and his train. Of course,
there was nothing menacing about its arrival — a
business firm does not go to war with a nation — but
284 Cabbages and Kings
it reminded Senor Espirition and others in those car-
riages that the Vesuvius Fruit Company was un-
doubtedly carrying something up its sleeve for them.
By the time the van of the procession had reached
the government building, Captain Cronin, of the
Valhalla, and Mr. Vincenti, member of the Vesuvius
Company, had landed and were pushing their way,
bluff, hearty and nonchalant, through the crowd on
the narrow sidewalk. Clad in white linen, big,
debonair, with an air of good-humoured authority,
they made conspicuous figures among the dark mass
of unimposing Anchurians, as they penetrated to
within a few yards of the steps of the Casa Morena.
Looking easily above the heads of the crowd, they
perceived another that towered above the undersized
natives. It was the fiery poll of Djcky Maloney
against the wall close by the lower step; and his
broad, seductive grin showed that he recognized their
Dicky had attired himself becomingly for the fes-
tive occasion in a well-fitting black suit. Pasa was
close by his side, her head covered with the ubiqui-
tous black mantilla.
Mr. Vincenti looked at her attentively.
" Botticelli's Madonna," he remarked, gravely. " I
wonder when she got into the game. I don't like his
Rouge et Noir 285
getting tangled with the women. I hoped he would
keep away from them."
Captain Cronln's laugh almost drew attention from
" With that head of hair ! Keep away from the
women! And a Maloney! Hasn't he got a license?
But, nonsense aside, what do you think of the pros-
pects ? It's a species of filibustering out of my line."
Vincenti glanced again at Dicky's head and smiled.
" Rouge et noir,'' he said. " There you have it.
Make your play, gentlemen. Our money is on the
" The lad's game," said Cronin, with a commend-
ing look at the tall, easy figure by the steps. " But
'tis all like fly-by-night theatricals to me. The talk's
bigger than the stage ; there's a smell of gasoline in
the air, and they're their own audience and scene-
They ceased talking, for General Pilar had de-
scended from the first carriage and had taken his
stand upon the top step of Casa Morena. As the
oldest member of the cabinet, custom had decreed
that he should make the address of welcome, present-
ing the Jkeys of the official residence to the president
at its close.
General Pilar was one of the most distinguished
286 Cabbages and Kings
citizens of the republic. Hero of three wars and in-
numerable revolutions, he was an honoured guest at
European courts and camps. An eloquent speaker
and a friend to the people, he represented the highest
type of the Anchurians.
Holding in his hand the gilt keys of Casa Morena,
he began his address in a historical form, touching
upon each administration and the advance of civili-
zation and prosperity from the first dim striving after
liberty down to present times. Arriving at the
regime of President Losada, at which point, accord-
ing to precedent, he should have delivered a eulogy
upon its wise conduct and the happiness of the peo-
ple, General Pilar paused. Then he silently held up
the bunch of keys high above his head, with his eyes
closely regarding it. The ribbon with which they
were bound fluttered in the breeze.
" It still blows," cried the speaker, exultantly.
** Citizens of Anchuria, give thanks to the saints this
night that our air is still free."
Thus disposing of Losada's administration, he
abruptly reverted to that of Olivarra, Anchuria's
most popular ruler. Olivarra had been assassinated
nine years before while in the prime of life and useful-
ness. A faction of the Liberal party led by Losada
himself had been accused of the deed. Whether
Rouge et Noir 287
guilty or not, it was eight years before the ambitious
and scheming Losada had gained his goal.
Upon this theme General Pilar's eloquence was
loosed. He drew the picture of the beneficent Oli-
varra with a loving hand. He reminded the people
of the peace, the security and the happiness they
had enjoyed during that period. He recalled in
vivid detail and with significant contrast the last
winter sojourn of President Olivarra in Coralio, when
his appearance at their fiestas was the signal for thun-
dering vivas of love and approbation.
The first public expression of sentiment from the
people that day followed. A low, sustained murmur
went among them like the surf rolling along the shore.
" Ten dollars to a dinner at the Saint Charles,"
remarked Mr. Vincenti, " that rouge wins."
" I never bet against my own interests," said Cap-
tain Cronin, lighting a cigar. " Long-winded old boy,
for his age. What's he talking about.'' "
" My Spanish," replied Vincenti, " runs about ten
words to the minute; his is something around two
hundred. Whatever he's saying, he's getting them
" Friends and brothers," General Pilar was saying,
" could I reach out my hand this day across the
lamentable silence of the grave to Olivarra ' the
288 Cabbages and Kings
Good,' to the ruler who was one of you, whose tears
fell when you sorrowed, and whose smile followed
your joy — I would bring him back to you, but —
Olivarra is dead — dead at the hands of a craven
assassin ! "
The speaker turned and gazed boldly into the car-
riage of the president. His arm remained extended
aloft as if to sustain his peroration. The president
was listening, aghast, at this remarkable address of
welcome. He was sunk back upon his seat, trem-
bling with rage and dumb surprise, his dark hands
tightly gripping the carriage cushions.
Half * rising, he extended one arm toward the
speaker, and shouted a harsh command at Captain
Cruz. The leader of the " Flying Hundred " sat his
horse, immovable, with folded arms, giving no sign
of having heard. Losada sank back again, his dark
features distinctly paling.
" Who says that Olivarra is dead ? '* suddenly cried
the speaker, his voice, old as he was, sounding like
a battle trumpet. " His body lies in the grave, but
to the people he loved he has bequeathed his spirit —
yes, more — his learning, his courage, his kindness
— yes, more — his youth, his image — people of
Anchuria, have you forgotten Ramon, the son of
Rouge et Noir 289
Cronin and Vincenti, watching closely, saw Dicky
Maloney suddenly raise his hat, tear oflF his shock of
red hair, leap up the steps and stand at the side of
General Pilar. The Minister of War laid his arm
across the young man's shoulders. All who had
known President Olivarra saw again his same lion-
like pose, the same frank, undaunted expression, the
same high forehead with the peculiar line of the
clustering, crisp black hair.
General Pilar was an experienced orator. He
seized the moment of breathless silence that preceded
" Citizens of Anchuria," he trumpeted, holding
aloft the keys to Casa Morena, " I am here to deliver
these keys — the keys to your homes and liberty —
to your chosen president. Shall I deliver them to
Enrico Olivarra's assassin, or to his son ? "
" Olivarra ! Olivarra ! " the crowd shrieked and
howled. All vociferated the magic name — men,
women, children and the parrots.
And the enthusiasm was not confined to the blood
of the plebs. Colonel Rocas ascended the steps and
laid his sword theatrically at young Ramon Olivarra's
feet. Four members of the cabinet embraced him.
Captain Cruz gave a command, and twenty of El
Ciento Huilando dismounted and arranged them-
290 Cabbages and Kings
selves in a cordon about the steps of Casa Morena.
But Ramon Ollvarra seized that moment to prove
himself a bom genius and politician. He waved
those soldiers aside, and descended the steps to the
street. There, without losing his dignity or the dis-
tinguished elegance that the loss of his red hair
brought him, he took the proletariat to his bosom —
the barefooted, the dirty, Indians, Caribs, babies, beg-
gars, old, young, saints, soldiers and sinners — he
missed none of them.
While this act of the drama was being presented,
the scene shifters had been busy at the duties that
had been assigned to them. Two of Cruz's dragoons
had seized the bridle reins of Losada's horses ; others
formed a close guard around the carriage; and they
galloped off with the tyrant and his two unpopular
Ministers. No doubt a place had been prepared for
them. There are a number of well-barred stone
apartments in Coralio.
" Rouge wins," said Mr. Vincenti, calmly light-
ing another cigar.
Captain Cronin had been intently watching the
vicinity of the stone steps for some time.
" Good boy ! " he exclaimed suddenly, as if relieved.
" I wondered if he was going to forget his Kathleen
Rouge et Noir 291
Young OUvarra had reascended the steps and
spoken a few words to General Pilar. Then that dis-
tinguished veteran descended to the ground and ap-
proached Pasa, who still stood, wonder-eyed, where
Dicky had left her. With his plumed hat in his
hand, and his medals and decorations shining on his
breast, the general spoke to her and gave her his arm,
and they went up the stone steps of the Casa Morena
together. And then Ramon Olivarra stepped forward
and took both her hands before all the people.
And while the cheering was breaking out afresh
everywhere. Captain Cronin and Mr. Vincenti turned
and walked back toward the shore where the gig was
waiting for them.
" There'll be another * presidente proclamada ' in
the morning," said Mr. Vincenti, musingly. " As a
rule they are not as reliable as the elected ones, but
this youngster seems to have some good stuff in him.
He planned and manoeuvred the entire campaign.
Olivarra's widow, you know, was wealthy. After her
husband was assassinated she went to the States, and
educated her son at Yale. The Vesuvius Company
hunted him up, and backed him in the little game."
** It's a glorious thing," said Cronin, half jestingly,
'' to be able to discharge a government, and insert one
of your own choosing, in these days."
292 Cabbages and Kings
" Oh, it IS only a matter of business," said Vincenti,
stopping and offering the stump of his cigar to a
monkey that swung down from a lime tree ; " and that
is what moves the world of to-day. That extra real
on the price of bananas had to go. We took the
shortest way of removing it."
1 HERE remains three duties to be performed be-
fore the curtain falls upon the patched comedy. Two
have been promised : the third in no less obligatory.
It was set forth in the programme of this tropic
vaudeville that it would be made known why Shorty
O'Day, of the Columbia Detective Agency, lost his
position. Also that Smith should come again to tell
us what mystery he followed that night on the shores
of Anchuria when he strewed so many cigar stumps
around the cocoanut palm during his lonely night
vigil on the beach. These things were promised ; but
a bigger thing yet remains to be accomplished — the
clearing up of a seeming wrong that has been done
according to the array of chronicled facts (truthfully
set forth) that have been presented. And one voice,
speaking, shall do these three things.
Two men sat on a stringer of a North River pier in
the City of New York. A steamer from the tropics
had begun to unload bananas and oranges on the pier.
294 Cabbages and Kings
Now and then a banana or two would fall from an
overripe bunch, and one of the two men would sham-
ble forward, seize the fruit and return to share it with
One of the men was in the ultimate stage of deteri-
oration. As far as rain and wind and sun could
wreck the garments he wore, it had been done. In
his person the ravages of drink were as plainly visible.
And yet, upon his high-bridged, rubicund nose was
jauntily perched a pair of shining and flawless gold-
The other man was not so far gone upon the de-
scending Highway of the Incompetents. Truly, the
flower of his manhood had gone to seed — seed that,
perhaps, no soil might sprout. But there were still
cross-cuts along where he travelled through which he
might yet regain the pathway of usefulness without
disturbing the slumbering Miracles. This man was
short and compactly built. He had an oblique, dead
eye, like that of a sting-ray, and the moustache of a
cocktail mixer. We know the eye and the moustache ;
we know that Smith of the luxurious yacht, the gor-
geous raiment, the mysterious mission, the magic dis-
appearance, has come again, though shorn of the ac-
cessories of his former state.
Two Recalls 295
At his third banana, the man with the nose glasses
spat it from him with a shudder.
" Deuce take all fruit ! " he remarked, in a patrician
tone of disgust. " I lived for two years where these
things grow. The memory of their taste lingers with
you. The oranges are not so bad. Just see if you
can gather a couple of them, O'Day, when the next
broken crate comes up."
*' Did you live down with the monkeys ? " asked
the other, made tepidly garrulous by the sunshine and
the alleviating meal of juicy fruit. " I was down
there, once myself. But only for a few hours. That
was when I was with the Columbia Detective Agency.
The monkey people did me up. I'd have my job
yet if it hadn't been for them. I'll tell you about
" One day the chief sent a note around to the office
that read : * Send O'Day here at once for a big piece
of business.' I was the crack detective of the agency
at that time. They always handed me the big jobs.
The address the chief wrote from was down in the
Wall Street district.
" When I got there I found him in a private office
with a lot of directors who were looking pretty fuzzy.
They stated the case. The president of the Republic
296 Cabbages and Kings
Insurance Company had skipped with about a tenth
of a million dollars in cash. The directors wanted
him back pretty bad, but they wanted the money
worse. They said they needed it. They had traced
the old gent's movements to where he boarded a
tramp fruit steamer bound for South America that
same morning with his daughter and a big gripsack
— all the family he had.
" One of the directors had his steam yacht coaled
and with steam up, ready for a trip ; and he turned her
over to me, cart blongsh. In four hours I was on
board of her, and hot on the trail of the fruit tub. I
had a pretty good idea where old Wahrfield — that
was his name, J. Churchill Wahrfield — would head
for. At that time we had a treaty with about every
foreign country except Belgium and that banana re-
public, Anchuria. There wasn't a photo of old Wahr-
field to be had in New York — he had been foxy there
— but I had his d^cription. And besides, the lady
with him would be a dead-give-away anywhere. She
was one of the high-flyers in Society — not the kind
that have their pictures in the Sunday papers — but
the real sort that open chrysanthemum shows and
" Well, sir, we never got a sight of that fruit tub
on the road. The ocean is a pretty big place; and
Two Recalls 297
I guess we took diflferent paths across it. But we
kept going toward this Anchuria, where the fruiter
was bound for.
" We struck the monkey coast one afternoon about
four. There was a ratty-looking steamer off shore
taking on bananas. The monkeys were loading her
up with big barges. It might be the one the old man
had taken, and it might not. I went ashore to look
around. The scenery was pretty good. I never saw
any finer on the New York stage. I struck an Ameri-
can on shore, a big, cool chap, standing around with
the monkeys. He showed me the consul's office. The
consul was a nice young fellow. He said the fruiter
was the Karlsefin, running generally to New Orleans,
but took her last cargo to New York. Then I was
sure my people were on board, although everybody
told me that no passengers had landed. I didn't
think they would land until after dark, for they might
have been shy about it on account of seeing that
yacht of mine hanging around. So, all I had to do
was to wait and nab 'em when they came ashore. I
couldn't arrest old Wahrfield without extradition
papers, but my play was to get the cash. They gen-
erally give up if you strike 'em when they're tired and
rattled and short on nerve.
" After dark I sat under a cocoanut tree on the
298 Cabbages and Kings
beach for a while, and then I walked around and In-
vestigated that town some, and it was enough to give
you the lions. If a man could stay in New York and
be honest, he'd better do it than to hit that monkey
town with a million.
" Dinky little mud houses ; grass over your shoe
tops in the streets; ladies in low-neck-and-short-
sleeves walking around smoking cigars; tree frogs
rattling like a hose cart going to a ten blow; big
mountains dropping gravel in the back yards, and the
sea licking the paint off in front — no, sir — a man
had better be in God's country living on free lunch
" The main street ran along the beach, and I walked
down it, and then turned up a kind of lane where the
houses were made of poles and straw. I wanted to
see what the monkeys did when they weren't climbing
cocoanut trees. The very first shack I looked in I
saw my people. They must have come ashore while
I was promenading. A man about fifty, smooth face,
heavy eyebrows, dressed in black broadcloth, looking
like he was just about to say, ^ Can any little boy in
the Sunday school answer that ? ' He was freezing
on to a grip that weighed like a dozen gold bricks,
and a swell girl — a regular peach, with a Fifth Ave-
nue cut — was sitting on a wooden chair. An old
Two Recalls 299
black woman was fixing some coflFee and beans on a
table. The light they had come from a lantern hung
on a nail. I went and stood in the door, and they
looked at me, and I said :
" * Mr. Wahrfield, you are my prisoner. I hope,
for the lady's sake, you will take the matter sensibly.
You know why I want you.'
" * Who are you ? ' says the old gent.
" * O'Day,' says I, ' of the Columbia Detective
Agency. And now, sir, let me give you a piece of
good advice. You go back and take your medicine
like a man. Hand 'em back the boodle; and maybe
they'll let you oflF light. Go back easy, and I'll put
in a word for you. I'll give you five minutes to de-
cide.' I pulled out my watch and waited.
" Then the young lady chipped in. She was one
of the genuine high-steppers. You could tell by the
way her clothes fit and the style she had that Fifth
Avenue was made for her.
" ' Come inside,' she says. * Don't stand in the
door and disturb the whole street with that suit of
clothes. Now, what is it you want ? '
" ' Three minutes gone,' I said. ' I'll tell you
again while the other two tick off.
" * You'll admit being the president of the Repub-
lic, won't you? '
800 Cabbages and Kings
" * I am,' says he.
" * Well, then,' says I, ^ it ought to be plain to you.
Wanted, in New York, J. Churchill Wahrfield, presi-
dent of the Republic Insurance Company.
** * Also the funds belonging to said company, now
in that grip, in the unlawful possession of said J.
" ^ Oh-h-h-hJ ' says the young lady, as if she was
thinking, * you want to take us back to New York? '
" * To take Mr. Wahrfield. There's no charge
against you, miss. There'll be no objection, of
course, to your returning with your father.'
" Of a sudden the girl gave a tiny scream and
grabbed the old boy around the neck. ' Oh, father,
father ! ' she says, kind of contralto, * can this be
true? Have you taken money that is not yours?
Speak, father ! ' It made you shiver to hear the
tremolo stop she put on her voice.
" The old boy looked pretty bughouse when she
first grappled him, but she went on, whispering in his
ear and patting his off shoulder till he stood still, but
sweating a little.
" She got him to one side and they talked together
a minute, and then he put on some gold eyeglasses
and walked up and handed me the grip.
^^ ^ Mr. Detective,' he says, talking a little broken.
Two Recalls 801
* I conclude to return with you. I have finished to
discover that life on this desolate and displeased coast
would be worse than to die, itself. I will go back and
hurl myself upon the mercy of the Republic Com-
pany. Have you brought a sheep? '
" ^ Sheep ! ' says I ; * I haven't a single — '
" ^ Ship,' cut in the young lady. * Don't get funny.
Father is of German birth, and doesn't speak perfect
English. How did you come ? '
" The girl was all broke up. She had a handker-
chief to her face, and kept saying every little bit, * Oh,
father, father ! ' She walked up to me and laid her
lily-white hand on the clothes that had pained her at
first. I smelt a million violets. She was a lulu. I
told her I came in a private yacht.
" * Mr. O'Day,' she says. ^ Oh, take us away
from this horrid country at once. Can you! Will
you ! Say you will.'
" ' I'll try,' I said, concealing the fact that I was
<lying to get them on salt water before they could
change their mind.
" One thing they both kicked against was going
through the town to the boat landing. Said they
dreaded publicity, and now that they were going to
return, they had a hope that the thing might yet be
kept out of the papers. They swore they wouldn't
802 Cabbages and Kings
go unless 1 got them out to the yacht without any one
knowing it, so I agreed to humour them,
" The sailors who rowed me ashore were playing
billiards in a bar-room near the water, waiting for or-
ders, and I proposed to have them take the boat down
the beach half a mile or so, and take us up there.
How to get them word was the question, for I couldn't
leave the grip with the prisoner, and I couldn't take
it with me, not knowing but what the monkeys might
stick me up.
" The young lady says the old coloured woman
would take them a note. I sat down and wrote it, and
gave it to the dame with plain directions what to do,
and she grins like a baboon and shakes her head.
" Then Mr. Wahrfield handed her a string of for-
eign dialect, and she nods her head and says, ^ See,
sefior,' maybe fifty times, and lights out with the note.
** * Old Augusta only understands Grerman,' said
Miss Wahrfield, smiling at me. * We stopped in her
house to ask where we could find lodging, and she in-
sisted upon our having coffee. She tells us she was
raised in a German family in San Domingo.'
** * Very likely,' I said. ^ But you can search me
for German words, except nix verstay and noch einst,
I would have called that " See, senor " French,
though, on a gamble.'
Two Recalls 303
*^ Well, we three made a sneak around the edge of
town so as not to be seen. We got tangled in vines
and ferns and the banana bushes and tropical scenery
a good deal. The monkey suburbs was as wild as
places in Central Park. We came out on the beach a
good half mile below. A brown chap was lying
asleep under a cocoanut tree, with a ten-foot musket
beside him. Mr. Wahrfield takes up the gun and
pitches it into the sea. * The coast is guarded,' he
says. * Rebellion and plots ripen like fruit.' He
pointed to the sleeping man, who never stirred.
* Thus,' he says, ^ they perform trusts. Children ! '
" I saw our boat coming, and I struck a match and
lit a piece of newspaper to show them where we were.
In thirty minutes we were on board the yacht.
" The first thing, Mr. Wahrfield and his daughter
and I took the grip into the owner's cabin, opened it
up, and took an inventory. There was one hundred
and five thousand dollars, United States treasury
notes in it, besides a lot of diamond jewelry and a
couple of hundred Havana cigars. I gave the old
man the cigars and a receipt for the rest of the lot, as
agent for the company, and locked the stuff up in my
** I never had a pleasanter trip than that one.
After we got to sea the young lady turned out to be
804 Cabbages and Kings
the j oiliest ever. The very first time we sat down to
dinner, and the steward filled her glass with cham-
pagne — that director's yacht was a regular floating
Waldorf-Astoria — she winks at me and says,
'What's the use to borrow trouble, Mr. Fly Cop?
Here's hoping you may live to eat the hen that
scratches on your grave.' There was a piano on
board, and she sat down to it and sung better than you
give up two cases to hear plenty times. She knew
about nine operas clear through. She was sure
enough bon ton and swell. She wasn't one of the
* among others present ' kind ; she belonged on
the special mention list !
" The old man, too, perked up amazingly on the
way. He passed the cigars, and says to me once, quite
chipper, out of a cloud of smoke, * Mr. O'Day, some-
how I think the Republic Company will not give me
the much trouble. Guard well the gripvalise of the
money, Mr. O'Day, for that it must be returned to
them that it belongs when we finish to arrive.'
" When we landed in New York I 'phoned to the
chief to meet, us in that director's ofiice. We got in
a cab and went there. I carried the grip, and we
walked in, and I was pleased to see that the chief had
got together that same old crowd of moneybugs with
pink faces and white vests to see us march in. I
Two Recalls 805
set the grip on the table. * There's the money,' I
"*And your prisoner?' said the chief.
** I pointed to Mr. Wahrfield, and he stepped for-
ward and says:
** * The honour of a word with you, sir, to explain.'
** He and the chief went into another room and
stayed ten minutes. When they came back the chief
looked as black as a ton of coal.
" * Did this gentleman,' he says to me, * have this
valise in his possession when you first saw him? '
" ' He did,' said I.
" The chief took up the grip and handed it to the
prisoner with a bow, and says to the director crowd:
* Do any of you recognize this gentleman ? '
" They all shook their pink faces.
" * Allow me to present,' he goes on, * Senor Mira-
flores, president of the republic of Anchuria. The
senor has generously consented to overlook this out-
rageous blunder, on condition that we undertake to
secure him against the annoyance of public comment.
It is a concession on his part to overlook an insult for
which he might claim international redress. I think
we can gratefully promise him secrecy in the matter.'
" They gave him a pink nod all round.
" * O'Day,' he says to me. * As a private detective
806 Cabbages and Kings
you're wasted. In a war, where kidnapping govern-
ments Is in the rules, you'd be invaluable. Come
down to the office at eleven.'
" I knew what that meant.
" * So that's the president of the monkeys,' says I.
* Well, why couldn't he have said so? '
"Wouldn't it jar you?"
Vaudeville is intrinsically episodic and discon-
tinuous. Its audiences do not demand denouements.
Sufficient unto each '' turn " is the evil thereof. No
one cares how many romances the singing comedienne
may have had If she can capably sustain the limelight
and a high note or two. The audiences reck not If
the performing dogs get to the pound the moment
they have jumped through their last hoop. They do
not desire bulletins about the possible injuries received
by the comic bicyclist who retires head-first from the
stage in a crash of (property) china-ware. Neither
do they consider that their seat coupons entitle them
to be instructed whether or no there is a sentiment be-
tween the lady solo ban joist and the Irish monologist.
Therefore let us have no lifting of the curtain upon
a tableau of the united lovers, backgrounded by de-
feated villainy and derogated by the comic, osculating
maid and butler, thrown In as a sop to the Cerberi
of the fifty-cent seats.
808 Cabbages and Kings
But our programme ends with a brief " turn '• or
two; and then to the exits. Whoever sits the show
out may find, if he will, the slender thread that binds
together, though ever so slightly, the story that, per-
haps, only the Walrus will understand.
Extracts from a letter from the first vice-president
of the Republic Insurance Company, of New York
City, to Frank Goodwin, of Coralio, Republic of An--
My Dear Mr. Goodwin: — Your communication
per Messrs. Howland and Fourchet, of New Orleans,
has reached us. Also their draft on N. Y. for $100,-
000, the amount abstracted from the funds of this
company by the late J. Churchill Wahrfield, its for-
mer president. . • . The officers and directors unite
in requesting me to express to you their sincere esteem
and thanks for your prompt and much appreciated
return of the entire missing sum within two weeks
from the time of its disappearance. • . • Can assure
vou that the matter will not be allowed to receive the
least publicity. . . . Regret exceedingly the distress-
ing death of Mr. Wahrfield by his own hand, but . . .
Congratulations on your marriage to Miss Wahrfield
. . . many charms, winning manners, noble and
The Vitagraphoscope 809
womanly nature and envied position in the best metro-
politan society. . . .
Lucius E. Applegate,
First Vice-President the Republic Insurance
The Last Sausage
Scene — An Artisfs Studio. The artist, a young
man of prepossessing appearance, sits in a dejected
attitude, amid a litter of sketches, with his head rest-
ing upon his hand. An oil stove stands on a pine box
in the centre of the studio. The artist rises, tightens
his waist belt to another hole, and lights the stove.
He goes to a tin bread box, half-hidden by a screen,
takes out a solitary link of sausage, turns the box up-
side-down to show that there is no more, and chucks
the sausage into a frying-pan, which he sets upon the
stove. The flame of the stove goes out, showing that
there is no more oil. The artist, in evident despair,
seizes the sausage, in a sudden access of rage, and
hurls it violently from him. At the same time a door
opens, and a man who enters receives the sausage
810 Cabbages and Kings
forcibly against his nose. He seems to cry out ; and
is observed to make a dance step or two, vigorously.
The newcomer is a ruddy-faced, active, keen-looking
man, apparently of Irish ancestry. Next he is ob-
served to laugh immoderately ; he kicks over the stove ;
he claps the artist (who is vainly striving to grasp his
hand) vehemently upon the back. Then he goes
through a pantomime which to the sufficiently Intelli-
gent spectator reveals that he has acquired large sums
of money by trading pot-metal hatchets and razors to
the Indians of the Cordillera Mountains for gold dust.
He draws a roll of money as large as a small loaf of
bread from his pocket, and waves it above his head,
while at the same time he makes pantomime of drink-
ing from a glass. The artist hurriedly secures his
hat, and the two leave the studio together.
The Writing on the Sands
Scene — The Beach at Nice. A woman, beauti-
ful, still young, exquisitely clothed, complacent,
poised, reclines near the water, idly scrawling letters
in the sand with the staff of her silken parasol. The
beauty of her face is audacious ; her languid pose is
one that you feel to be Impermanent — you wait, ex-
pectant, for her to spring or glide or crawl, like a
The Vitagraphoscope 811
panther thui has unaccountably become stock-still.
She idly scrawis in the sand; and the word that she
always writes in " Isabel." A man sits a few yards
away. You can see that they are companions, even
if no longer comrades. His face is dark and smooth,
and almost inscrutable — but not quite. The two
speak little together. The man also scratches on the
sand with his cane. And tne word that he writes is
" Anchuria." And thvm he looks out where the Med-
iterranean and the sky intermingle, with death in his
The Wilderness and Thou
Scene — The Borders of a Gentleman^s Estate in
a Tropical Land, An old Indian, with a mahogany-
coloured face, is trimming the grass on a grave by a
mangrove swamp. Presently he rises to his feet and
walks slowly toward a grove that is shaded by the
gathering, brief twilight. In the edge of the grove
stand a man who is stalwart, with a kind and courte-
ous air, and a woman of a serene and clear-cut loveli-
ness. When the old Indian comes up to them the
man drops money in his hand. The grave-tender,
with the stolid pride of his race, takes it as his due,
and goes his way. The two in the edge of the grove
812 Cabbages and Kings
turn back along the dim pathway, and walk close,
close — for, after all, what Is the world at its best
but a little round field of the moving pictures with,
two walking together in it?
TBS COUNTRY LIFE PKKSS, OARDKN Cm N. Y.
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